[ in-step ]

  1. the arched upper surface of the human foot between the toes and the ankle.

  2. the part of a shoe, stocking, etc., covering this surface.

  1. 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

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

How to use instep in a sentence

  • With a quick movement he placed the white-hot length of flint firmly against the delicate skin of the instep and held it there.

    Warrior of the Dawn | Howard Carleton Browne
  • As he sat he had raised one leg upon the other, placing his foot on his knee, and he held it there with his hand upon his instep.

    Orley Farm | Anthony Trollope
  • Their bodies are scarred in various parts, particularly about the breast and arms, and frequently on the instep.

British Dictionary definitions for instep


/ (ˈɪnˌstɛp) /

  1. the middle section of the human foot, forming the arch between the ankle and toes

  2. the part of a shoe, stocking, etc, covering this

Origin of 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with instep


Moving to a rhythm or conforming to the movements of others, as in The kids marched in step to the music. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.