[uh-foo t]

adverb, adjective

on foot; walking: I came afoot.
astir; in progress: There is mischief afoot.

Origin of afoot

First recorded in 1175–1225, afoot is from the Middle English word a fote, on fote. See a-1, foot Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for afoot

hiking, walking, astir, cooking, forthcoming, brewing

Examples from the Web for afoot

Contemporary Examples of afoot

Historical Examples of afoot

  • Vast crowds lined the route, afoot and in every kind of vehicle.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Once afoot, it was not long before the company began to disperse.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • When a man is afoot at cock-crow much may be done in the day.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The man by his nod seemed to show he understood what was afoot.

    Casanova's Homecoming

    Arthur Schnitzler

  • The Lambs were going to be enraged when they learned what was afoot.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

British Dictionary definitions for afoot


adjective, adverb (postpositive)

in circulation or operation; astirmischief was afoot
on or by foot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for afoot

c.1200, afote, from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + foot (n.). Figurative sense of "in active operation" is from 1601 ("Julius Caesar").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper