[ toh ]
See synonyms for toe on
  1. one of the terminal digits of the human foot.

  2. an analogous part in certain animals.

  1. the forepart of the foot or hoof of a horse or the like.

  2. the forepart of anything worn on the foot, as of a shoe or stocking.

  3. a part resembling a toe in shape or position.

  4. Railroads. the end of a frog in front of the point and in the direction of the switch.

  5. Machinery.

    • a journal or part placed vertically in a bearing, as the lower end of a vertical shaft.

    • a curved partial cam lifting the flat surface of a follower and letting it drop; wiper.

  6. Golf. the outer end of the head of a club.

verb (used with object),toed, toe·ing.
  1. to furnish with a toe or toes.

  2. to touch or reach with the toes: The pitcher toed the mound, wound up, and threw a fastball.

  1. to kick with the toe.

  2. Golf. to strike (the ball) with the toe of the club.

  3. Carpentry.

    • to drive (a nail) obliquely.

    • to toenail.

verb (used without object),toed, toe·ing.
  1. to stand, walk, etc., with the toes in a specified position: to toe in.

  2. to tap with the toe, as in dancing.

Idioms about toe

  1. on one's toes, energetic; alert; ready: The spirited competition kept them on their toes.

  2. step / tread on someone's toes, to offend (a person); encroach on the territory or sphere of responsibility of (another): The new employee stepped on a lot of toes when he suggested reorganizing the office.

  1. toe the line. line1 (def. 83).

Origin of toe

before 900; Middle English; Old English tā; cognate with Dutch teen,German Zehe,Old Norse

Other words from toe

  • toeless, adjective
  • toelike, adjective

Words that may be confused with toe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use toe in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for toe


/ (təʊ) /

  1. any one of the digits of the foot

  2. the corresponding part in other vertebrates

  1. the part of a shoe, sock, etc, covering the toes

  2. anything resembling a toe in shape or position

  3. the front part of the head of a golf club, hockey stick, etc

  4. the lower bearing of a vertical shaft assembly

  5. the tip of a cam follower that engages the cam profile

  6. dip one's toe in or dip one's toes in informal to begin doing or try something new or unfamiliar

  7. on one's toes alert

  8. tread on someone's toes to offend or insult a person, esp by trespassing on his or her field of responsibility

  9. turn up one's toes informal to die

  10. Australian slang speed: a player with plenty of toe

verbtoes, toeing or toed
  1. (tr) to touch, kick, or mark with the toe

  2. (tr) golf to strike (the ball) with the toe of the club

  1. (tr) to drive (a nail, spike, etc) obliquely

  2. (intr) to walk with the toes pointing in a specified direction: to toe inwards

  3. toe the line to conform to expected standards, attitudes, etc

Origin of toe

Old English tā; related to Old Frisian tāne, Old Norse tā, Old High German zēha, Latin digitus finger

Derived forms of toe

  • toelike, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with toe


In addition to the idiom beginning with toe

  • toe the line

also see:

  • dip one's toes into
  • from head to toe
  • on one's toes
  • step on someone's toes
  • turn up one's toes

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