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toehold

or toe-hold

[toh-hohld]
See more synonyms for toehold on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a small ledge or niche just large enough to support the toes, as in climbing.
  2. any slight or initial support, influence, advantage, progress, or the like: His knowledge of Latin gave him a toehold for learning French.
  3. a batten nailed to a sloping roof as a support for workers.
  4. Wrestling. a hold in which an opponent's foot is twisted.
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Origin of toehold

First recorded in 1875–80; toe + hold1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

perch, niche, footing, toehold, crevice, purchase, hold, space

Examples from the Web for toehold

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • You've got to get a toehold yourself before you can look at a girl.

    The Huntress

    Hulbert Footner

  • He searched the rear hull, looking for some break in the polished metal that might serve as a toehold.

    Gold in the Sky

    Alan Edward Nourse

  • If the United Nations gets a toehold out here, the whole Belt will go into their pocket, you realize that.

    Gold in the Sky

    Alan Edward Nourse

  • His foot found a toehold and he drew himself up to where another rough outcrop gave grip for his hand.

  • Hooking into the solid green water of that eddy, Andy found himself a toehold, and presently clambered out.

    Down the Columbia

    Lewis R. Freeman


British Dictionary definitions for toehold

toehold

noun
  1. a small foothold to facilitate climbing
  2. any means of gaining access, support, etcthe socialist party gained a toehold in the local elections
  3. a wrestling hold in which the opponent's toe is held and his leg twisted against the joints
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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