the arched upper surface of the human foot between the toes and the ankle.
the part of a shoe, stocking, etc., covering this surface.
the front of the hind leg of a horse, cow, etc., between the hock and the pastern joint; cannon.

Origin of instep

1520–30; apparently in-1 + step Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for instep

Historical Examples of instep

British Dictionary definitions for instep



the middle section of the human foot, forming the arch between the ankle and toes
the part of a shoe, stocking, etc, covering this

Word Origin for instep

C16: probably from in- ² + step
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 instep

mid-15c., apparently from in + step, "though this hardly makes sense" [Weekley]. An Old English word for "instep" was fotwelm. Middle English also had a verb instep "to track, trace" (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

instep in Medicine




The arched middle part of the foot between toes and ankle.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.