• synonyms


[foo t-fawl]
See more synonyms for footfall on Thesaurus.com
  1. a footstep.
  2. the sound of footsteps: She heard a footfall on the stairs.
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Origin of footfall

First recorded in 1600–10; foot + fall
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for footfall

Historical Examples

  • His footfall was a feathery thing that carried him like a shadow to the door.

    Way of the Lawless

    Max Brand

  • Or else, in some barroom, a footfall from behind and a bullet through the back.

  • The carpet was soft and rich; it gave back no sound of footfall.

  • There had been no knock, but he had just recognised the footfall coming up the stairs.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • In the utter silence there was no suspicion of the pat of a footfall.

British Dictionary definitions for footfall


  1. the sound of a footstep
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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 footfall


c.1600; see foot (n.) + fall (n). Perhaps first in Shakespeare.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper