noun, plural feet for 1–4, 8–11, 16, 19, 21; foots for 20.
- a shaped or ornamented feature terminating a leg at its lower part.
- any of several short legs supporting a central shaft, as of a pedestal table.
- sediment or dregs.
- footlight(def 1).
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- to attempt to make as good an impression as possible.
- to proceed with all possible haste; hurry.
Origin of foot
noun plural feet (fiːt)
- a unit of length equal to one third of a yard or 12 inches. 1 Imperial foot is equivalent to 0.3048 metreAbbreviation: ft
- any of various units of length used at different times and places, typically about 10 per cent greater than the Imperial foot
- infantry, esp in the British army
- (as modifier)a foot soldier
- a unit used in classifying organ pipes according to their pitch, in terms of the length of an equivalent column of air
- this unit applied to stops and registers on other instruments
- the margin at the bottom of a page
- the undersurface of a piece of type
- walking or running
- in progress; astir; afoot
- to try to do one's best
- to hurry
- to act firmly
- to increase speed (in a motor vehicle) by pressing down on the accelerator
Word Origin for foot
Old English fot, from Proto-Germanic *fot (cf. Old Saxon fot, Old Norse fotr, Dutch voet, Old High German fuoz, German Fuß, Gothic fotus "foot"), from PIE *ped- (cf. Avestan pad-; Sanskrit pad-, accusative padam "foot;" Greek pos, Attic pous, genitive podos; Latin pes, genitive pedis "foot;" Lithuanian padas "sole," peda "footstep"). Plural form feet is an instance of i-mutation. Of a bed, grave, etc., first recorded c.1300.
The linear measurement of 12 inches was in Old English, from the length of a man's foot. Colloquial exclamation my foot! expressing "contemptuous contradiction" [OED] is first attested 1923, probably a euphemism for my ass, in the same sense, which dates back to 1796. The metrical foot (Old English, translating Latin pes, Greek pous in the same sense) is commonly taken as a reference to keeping time by tapping the foot.
To get off on the right foot is from 1905; to put one's best foot foremost first recorded 1849 (Shakespeare has the better foot before, 1596). To put one's foot in (one's) mouth "say something stupid" is attested by 1942; the expression put (one's) foot in something "make a mess of it" is from 1823.
c.1400, "dance, move on foot," from foot (n.). To foot a bill is attested from 1848, from the process of tallying the expenses and writing the figure at the bottom ("foot") of the bill.
n. pl. feet (fēt)
Plural feet (fēt)
put one's best foot forward
Try for the best possible impression, make a good start, as in Come on, let's put our best foot forward for this interview. The allusion in this idiom is unclear, though it may concern marching. One theory is that best foot means “the right foot,” the left being regarded as unlucky. [Late 1500s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with foot
- foot in both camps, have a
- foot in one's mouth, put one's
- foot in the door, get one's
- foot the bill
- bound hand and foot
- caught flat-footed
- get off on the wrong foot
- not touch with a ten-foot pole
- one foot in the grave
- on foot
- on the right foot
- play footsie
- put one's best foot forward
- put one's foot down
- put one's foot in it
- set foot
- shoe is on the other foot
- shoot oneself in the foot
- wait on hand and foot
Also see underfeet.