[ foot-wawl ]

  1. Mining. the top of the rock stratum underlying a vein or bed of ore.: Compare hanging wall (def. 1).

  2. Geology. a mass of rock lying beneath a fault plane.

Compare Meanings

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.

Origin of footwall

First recorded in 1640–50; foot + wall

Words Nearby footwall Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use footwall in a sentence

  • But the hardest rock of the hanging or footwall, however, is seldom as hard as the harder class of ore.

    De Re Metallica | Georgius Agricola
  • To these timbers are fixed small timbers along the footwall, to which are fastened the lagging and ladders.

    De Re Metallica | Georgius Agricola
  • Stringers are given the same characteristics as veins, but divided into hanging, footwall, and other varieties.

    De Re Metallica | Georgius Agricola
  • The ratio of ore area to total explored area, measured in the plane of the footwall, was 21-½ per cent.

  • The total area of ore measured on the footwall was 785 acres.

British Dictionary definitions for footwall


/ (ˈfʊtˌwɔːl) /

  1. the rocks on the lower side of an inclined fault plane or mineral vein: Compare hanging wall

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

Scientific definitions for footwall


[ futwôl′ ]

  1. The block of rock lying under an inclined geologic fault plane. See more at fault. Compare hanging wall.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.