[foo t-muh n]
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noun, plural foot·men.
  1. a liveried servant who attends the door or carriage, waits on table, etc.
  2. a metal stand before a fire, to keep something hot.
  3. Archaic. an infantryman.

Origin of footman

First recorded in 1250–1300, footman is from the Middle English word fotman. See foot, man1
Related formsun·der·foot·man, noun, plural un·der·foot·men. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples of footman

Historical Examples of footman

British Dictionary definitions for footman


noun plural -men
  1. a male servant, esp one in livery
  2. a low four-legged metal stand used in a fireplace for utensils, etc
  3. (formerly) a foot soldier
  4. any of several arctiid moths related to the tiger moths, esp the common footman (Eilema lurideola), with yellowish hind wings and brown forewings with a yellow front stripe; they produce woolly bear larvae
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 footman

c.1300, "foot soldier;" late 14c., "one who goes on foot;" as a personal attendant, originally one who ran before or alongside his master's carriage, announcing its arrival (and keeping it from tipping over). The modern, non-jogging servant sense is from c.1700, though the running footmen still were in service mid-18c. From foot (n.) + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper