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down-at-the-heels

or down-at-the-heel

[doun-uh t-thuh-heelz or doun-uh t-thuh-heel]
adjective
  1. of a shabby, run-down appearance; seedy: He is rapidly becoming a down-at-heel drifter and a drunk.
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Also down-at-heel, down-at-heels.

Origin of down-at-the-heels

First recorded in 1695–1705
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for down-at-the-heels

Historical Examples

  • "Down-at-the-heels gentility gone into trade," smiled Marcia.

    Destiny

    Charles Neville Buck

  • Mr. Howells has aptly described Hannibal as a "loafing, out-at-elbows, down-at-the-heels, slaveholding Mississippi river town."

    Mark Twain

    Archibald Henderson