• synonyms


[foo t-hohld]
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  1. a place or support for the feet; a place where a person may stand or walk securely.
  2. a secure position, especially a firm basis for further progress or development: They gained a foothold in the New York market before beginning their national campaign.
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Origin of foothold

First recorded in 1615–25; foot + hold1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for foothold


  1. a ledge, hollow, or other place affording a secure grip for the foot, as during climbing
  2. a secure position from which further progress may be madea foothold for a successful career
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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 foothold


1620s, from foot (n.) + hold (n.). Figurative use by 1650s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper