- 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.
verb (used with object), toed, toe·ing.
- to drive (a nail) obliquely.
- to toenail.
verb (used without object), toed, toe·ing.
Origin of toe
verb (used without object), trod, trod·den or trod, tread·ing.
verb (used with object), trod, trod·den or trod, tread·ing.
Origin of tread
verb toes, toeing or toed
Word Origin for toe
verb treads, treading, trod, trodden or trod
Word Origin for tread
Old English ta (plural tan), contraction of *tahe (Mercian tahæ), from Proto-Germanic *taikhwo (cf. Old Norse ta, Old Frisian tane, Middle Dutch te, Dutch teen, Old High German zecha, German Zehe "toe"), probably originally meaning "fingers" as well (many PIE languages still use one word to mean both fingers and toes). The Old English plural tan survived in southwestern England to 14c. To be on (one's) toes "alert, eager" is recorded from 1921.
Old English tredan (class V strong verb; past tense træd, past participle treden), from Proto-Germanic *tredanan (cf. Old Frisian treda, Middle Dutch treden, Old High German tretan, German treten, Gothic trudan, Old Norse troða).
early 13c., from tread (v.); in reference to automobile tires, it is recorded from 1906.
"touch or reach with the toes," 1813, from toe (n.). First recorded in expression toe the mark, which seems to be nautical in origin.
The chief mate ... marked a line on the deck, brought the two boys up to it, making them 'toe the mark.' [R.H. Dana, "Two Years Before the Mast," 1840]
Related: Toed; toeing.
In addition to the idiom beginning with toe
- toe the line
- dip one's toes into
- from head to toe
- on one's toes
- step on someone's toes
- turn up one's toes
In addition to the idioms beginning with tread
- tread the boards
- tread water
- fools rush in where angels fear to tread
- step (tread) on one's toes