[flat-foo t-id]


having flatfeet.
taking or showing an uncompromising stand in a matter; firm and explicit: a flatfooted denial.
clumsy or plodding; maladroit: flatfooted writing.

Nearby words

  1. flatbread,
  2. flatcar,
  3. flatette,
  4. flatfish,
  5. flatfoot,
  6. flathead,
  7. flathead catfish,
  8. flatheaded apple tree borer,
  9. flatheaded borer,
  10. flatiron


    catch one flatfooted, to catch one unprepared; surprise: The amount of the bill caught us flatfooted.

Origin of flatfooted

First recorded in 1595–1605; flatfoot + -ed3

Related formsflat·foot·ed·ly, adverbflat·foot·ed·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flat-footed

British Dictionary definitions for flat-footed



having flatfoot
British informal
  1. clumsy or awkward
  2. downright and uncompromising
informal off guard or unawares (often in the phrase catch flat-footed)
Derived Formsflat-footedly, adverbflat-footedness, noun

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 flat-footed



c.1600, "with flat feet;" meaning "unprepared" is from 1912, U.S. baseball slang, on notion of "not on one's toes;" earlier in U.S. colloquial use it meant "straightforwardly, downright" (1828), from notion of "standing firmly."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with flat-footed


see caught flat-footed.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.