or toe-hold



a small ledge or niche just large enough to support the toes, as in climbing.
any slight or initial support, influence, advantage, progress, or the like: His knowledge of Latin gave him a toehold for learning French.
a batten nailed to a sloping roof as a support for workers.
Wrestling. a hold in which an opponent's foot is twisted.

Origin of toehold

First recorded in 1875–80; toe + hold1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for toehold

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

Examples from the Web for toehold

Contemporary Examples of toehold

Historical Examples of toehold

  • 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



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