toehold

or toe-hold

[ toh-hohld ]
/ ˈtoʊ hoʊld /

noun

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.

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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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for toehold

British Dictionary definitions for toehold

toehold
/ (ˈtəʊˌhəʊld) /

noun

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