the back part of the human foot, below and behind the ankle: I got blisters on my heels from these boots.
the back part of the foot of any of various vertebrates.
Usually heels . the hind feet or hooves of some animals, such as the horse.
the foot as a whole: He was hung by the heels.
the part of a sock, shoe, or the like covering the back part of the wearer's foot: Too bad I don’t know how to darn—the heel of this sock has developed a rather large hole.
a solid, raised base or support of leather, wood, rubber, etc., attached to the sole of a shoe or boot under the back part of the foot: Do you carry a similar boot with a lower heel?
heels, women’s low-cut shoes with thin or thick heels of medium or high height: I don’t wear heels anymore unless it’s a wedding or a fancy night out.
something resembling the back part of the human foot in position, shape, etc.: All that remained of the loaf was the crusty heel.
the rear of the palm, adjacent to the wrist: To perform CPR on an adult, begin by placing the heel of your hand on the center of the person’s chest.
the latter or concluding part of something, especially a meeting: The 40-page bill was brought in at the heel of the legislative session, and it passed without sufficient consideration.
the lower end of any of various more or less vertical objects, as rafters, spars, or the sternposts of vessels.
the after end of a keel.
the inner end of a bowsprit or jib boom.
the crook in the head of a golf club.
Building Trades. the exterior angle of an angle iron.
Railroads. the end of a frog farthest from a switch.
Horticulture. the base of any part, as of a cutting or tuber, that is removed from a plant for use in the propagation of that plant.
(of a dog) to follow at one's heels on command: I’ve taught my dog to sit, but can’t get him to heel yet.
to use the heels, as in dancing: Concentrating on our movement, we heel, toe, and swing, our hands gently clasped.
to follow at the heels of; chase closely: His mare followed close behind him, like a well-trained hunting dog heeling its master.
to furnish with heels, as shoes: As a youth in his family’s cobbler shop in Manhattan, he heeled the shoes of many a movie star before they were stars.
to kick or strike with the back part of the foot: The forward heeled the ball into the path of his teammate, who kicked it into the net.
to perform (a dance) with the heels.
Golf. to strike (the ball) with the heel of the club.
to arm (a gamecock) with spurs.
heel in, to cover temporarily (the roots and most of the stem of a plant) with soil prior to permanent planting: If you can’t plant them right away, you can dig a trench and heel in the seedlings, setting them close together and covering the roots with soil or moist mulch.
Idioms about heel
at heel, close behind, especially as an animal behind a person leading it: The dog would sit, stay, come, and lie down on command, and would walk at heel with or without a leash.She walked out as soon as the gate opened, and the dog followed her to heel without a backward look.: Also to heel .
at one's heels, close behind one: The police are at his heels.
bring to heel, to get control over; force to submit: The authorities deployed the army to bring the rebels to heel.
cool one's heels, to be kept waiting, especially because of deliberate discourtesy: The producer let the actors who were waiting to be auditioned cool their heels in the outer office.
down at the heels, having a shabby, slovenly, or rundown appearance, especially because of lack of resources: This town, once a thriving manufacturing hub, has been down at the heels for quite some time.: Also down at heel, down at the heel, out at heels, out at the heels .
heels over head. head (def. 69).
his heels, Cribbage. a jack turned up as a starter, counting two points for the dealer.
kick up one's heels, to have a vigorously entertaining time; frolic: Grandfather could still kick up his heels now and then.
lay by the heels,
to arrest and imprison.
to prevail over; render ineffectual: Superior forces laid the invaders by the heels.
on / upon the heels of, closely following; in quick succession of: On the heels of the hurricane came an outbreak of looting.
show a clean pair of heels, to leave one's pursuers or competitors behind; outrun: The thief showed his victim a clean pair of heels.: Also show one's heels to .
take to one's heels, to run away; take flight: The thief took to his heels as soon as he saw the police.
- heel·less, adjective
Other definitions for heel (2 of 3)
to cause to lean or cant.
a heeling movement; a cant.
Other definitions for heel (3 of 3)
a contemptibly dishonorable or irresponsible person: We all feel like heels for ducking out on you like this.
Professional Wrestling. a headlining wrestler who plays a villainous role and typically loses matches to the wrestler playing a heroic character.: Compare face (def. 19).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use heel in a sentence
News of a potential deal comes on the heels of another big SPAC transaction in electric planes, for Archer Aviation.With a reported deal in the wings for Joby Aviation, electric aircraft soars to $10B business | Jonathan Shieber | February 12, 2021 | TechCrunch
On the heels of this latest round, nextmv is working to simplify its product.nextmv raises $8M Series A to increase accessibility to its automation optimization tech | Jordan Crook | February 9, 2021 | TechCrunch
The round comes also on the heels of the company raising $21 million just in June of last year.RapidSOS raises $85M for a big data platform aimed at emergency responders | Ingrid Lunden | February 9, 2021 | TechCrunch
Meanwhile, Marie drifts to the stove like an exquisite zombie—she’s still draped in the slinky liquid column of a dress she wore to the premiere, though she’s kicked off her heels—and starts to cook up some mac and cheese.Zendaya Dazzles in the Otherwise Dull Malcolm & Marie | Stephanie Zacharek | February 5, 2021 | Time
The legislation comes on the heels of other calls for action.“We Have Counties in Deep Trouble”: Oregon Lawmakers Seek to Reverse Timber Tax Cuts That Cost Communities Billions | by Rob Davis, The Oregonian/OregonLive, and Tony Schick, Oregon Public Broadcasting | February 5, 2021 | ProPublica
His goal: to make the perfect (and absolutely comfortable) high-heel, with the help from Nike CEO Mark Parker.
The high heel has gone through endless aesthetic changes throughout the years.
Acts of violence include death by hanging, rifle butt, boot heel, tank tracks and fireball.‘Fury’: A Ludicrous WWII Movie More Violent Than ‘Inglourious Basterds’ | Nico Hines | October 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Around 3am, my spindly legs are beginning to ache from balancing on deck, as we heel with each tack.
The high heel is revolutionary, and evolutionary, as an engrossing Brooklyn Museum show reveals.
The left heel followed like lightning, and the right paw also slipped, letting the bear again fall heavily on the ice below.The Giant of the North | R.M. Ballantyne
And with another bow the man from Paris drew himself erect, turned on his heel, and went jingling and creaking from the room.St. Martin's Summer | Rafael Sabatini
With which magnanimous sentiment he turned on his clumsy heel, and entered his apartment again.Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
He believes, he has an instinct, that here is the heel of the German Colossus, otherwise immune to our arrows.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
But her small boot heel did not make an indenture, not a mark upon the little glittering circlet.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
British Dictionary definitions for heel (1 of 2)
the back part of the human foot from the instep to the lower part of the ankle: Compare calcaneus
the corresponding part in other vertebrates
the part of a shoe, stocking, etc, designed to fit the heel
the outer part of a shoe underneath the heel
the part of the palm of a glove nearest the wrist
the lower, end, or back section of something: the heel of a loaf
horticulture the small part of the parent plant that remains attached to a young shoot cut for propagation and that ensures more successful rooting
the bottom of a mast
the after end of a ship's keel
the back part of a golf club head where it bends to join the shaft
rugby possession of the ball as obtained from a scrum (esp in the phrase get the heel)
slang a contemptible person
at one's heels or on one's heels just behind or following closely
dig one's heels in See dig in (def. 5)
down at heel
shabby or worn
slovenly or careless
kick one's heels or cool one's heels to wait or be kept waiting
rock back on one's heels to astonish or be astonished
show a clean pair of heels to run off
take to one's heels to run off
to heel disciplined or under control, as a dog walking by a person's heel
(tr) to repair or replace the heel of (shoes, boots, etc)
to perform (a dance) with the heels
(tr) golf to strike (the ball) with the heel of the club
rugby to kick (the ball) backwards using the sole and heel of the boot
to follow at the heels of (a person)
(tr) to arm (a gamecock) with spurs
(tr) NZ (of a cattle dog) to drive (cattle) by biting their heels
- heelless, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for heel (2 of 2)
(of a vessel) to lean over; list
inclined position from the vertical: the boat is at ten degrees of heel
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with heel
see Achilles' heel; at someone's heels; bring to heel; cool one's heels; dig in (one's heels); drag one's feet (heels); head over heels; kick up one's heels; on the heels of; out at the elbows (heels); set back on one's heels; show one's heels; take to one's heels; to heel; turn on one's heel.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.