1. drag one's feet, to act or proceed slowly or without enthusiasm; to be reluctant to act, comply, etc.: We can't begin the project until the steering committee stops dragging its feet.
  2. land/fall on one's feet, to be lucky or successful, especially after difficulties: He's had some rough times but has finally landed on his feet.
  3. on one's feet,
    1. in a standing position.
    2. in an independent or secure position: The loan helped him get on his feet again.
    3. in a restored or recovered state; able to continue: Psychotherapy helped her get back on her feet after her breakdown.
  4. sit at the feet of, to attend upon as a disciple or follower: American writers and painters no longer sit at the feet of Europeans.
  5. stand on one's own feet,
    1. to be financially self-supporting.
    2. to be independent: Overprotective parents do not prepare their children to stand on their own feet.
    Also stand on one's own two feet.
  6. sweep one off one's feet, to impress or overwhelm by ability, enthusiasm, or charm: The gaiety of the occasion swept them off their feet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for stand on one's own feet


  1. the plural of foot
  2. at someone's feet as someone's disciple
  3. be run off one's feet or be rushed off one's feet to be very busy
  4. carry off one's feet or sweep off one's feet to fill with enthusiasm
  5. feet of clay a weakness that is not widely known
  6. get one's feet wet to begin to participate in something
  7. have one's feet on the ground or keep one's feet on the ground to be practical and reliable
  8. on one's feet or on its feet
    1. standing up
    2. in good health
    3. (of a business, company, etc) thriving
  9. put one's feet up to rest
  10. stand on one's own feet to be independent
Derived Formsfeetless, adjective
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 stand on one's own feet



plural of foot (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with stand on one's own feet

stand on one's own feet

Act or behave independently, as in You've got to learn to stand on your own feet and not always listen to your peers. [Mid-1500s]


In addition to the idioms beginning with feet

  • feet of clay
  • feet on the ground

also see:

  • at someone's feet
  • both feet on the ground
  • dead on one's feet
  • don't let the grass grow under one's feet
  • drag one's feet
  • fall on one's feet
  • get one's feet wet
  • get the lead out of (one's feet)
  • get to one's feet
  • have two left feet
  • hold someone's feet to the fire
  • off one's feet
  • on one's feet
  • put one's feet up
  • rush off one's feet
  • shake the dust from one's feet
  • six feet under
  • stand on one's feet
  • take the load off (one's feet)
  • think on one's feet
  • under one's feet
  • vote with one's feet

Also see underfoot.

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