AskDefine | Define foot

Dictionary Definition



1 a linear unit of length equal to 12 inches or a third of a yard; "he is six feet tall" [syn: ft]
2 the foot of a human being; "his bare feet projected from his trousers"; "armored from head to foot" [syn: human foot, pes]
3 the lower part of anything; "curled up on the foot of the bed"; "the foot of the page"; "the foot of the list"; "the foot of the mountain" [ant: head]
4 travel by foot; "he followed on foot"; "the swiftest of foot"
5 a foot of a vertebrate other than a human being [syn: animal foot]
6 a support resembling a pedal extremity; "one foot of the chair was on the carpet"
7 lowest support of a structure; "it was built on a base of solid rock"; "he stood at the foot of the tower" [syn: foundation, base, fundament, groundwork, substructure, understructure]
8 any of various organs of locomotion or attachment in invertebrates [syn: invertebrate foot]
9 an army unit consisting of soldiers who fight on foot; "there came ten thousand horsemen and as many fully-armed foot" [syn: infantry]
10 a member of a surveillance team who works on foot or rides as a passenger
11 a group of 2 or 3 syllables forming the basic unit of poetic rhythm [syn: metrical foot, metrical unit]


1 pay for something; "pick up the tab"; "pick up the burden of high-interest mortgages"; "foot the bill" [syn: pick]
2 walk; "let's hoof it to the disco" [syn: leg it, hoof, hoof it]
3 add a column of numbers [syn: foot up] [also: feet (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



fot, from , from .


  • , /fʊt/, /fUt/
  • Rhymes with: -ʊt


  1. A biological structure found in many animals that is used for locomotion and that is frequently a separate organ at the terminal part of the leg.
    A spider has eight feet.
  2. countable anatomy Specifically, a human foot, which is found below the ankle and is used for standing and walking.
    Southern Italy is shaped like a foot.
  3. uncountable often used attributively Travel by walking. jump walking
    We went there by foot because we could not afford a taxi.
    There is a lot of foot traffic on this street.
  4. The base or bottom of anything.
    I'll meet you at the foot of the stairs.
  5. The part of a flat surface on which the feet customarily rest.
    We came and stood at the foot of the bed.
  6. The end of a rectangular table opposite the head.
    The host should sit at the foot of the table.
  7. A short foot-like projection on the bottom of an object to support it.
    The feet of the stove hold it a safe distance above the floor.
  8. A unit of measure equal to twelve inches or one third of a yard, equal to exactly 30.48 centimetres.
    Most people are less than six feet tall.
  9. military pluralonly Foot soldiers; infantry.
    King John went to battle with ten thousand foot and one thousand horse.
  10. countable cigars The end of a cigar which is lit, and usually cut before lighting.
  11. countable sewing The part of a sewing machine which presses downward on the fabric, and may also serve to move it forward.
  12. countable printing The bottommost part of a typed or printed page.
  13. countable prosody The basic measure of rhythm in a poem.
  14. countable nautical The bottom edge of a sail.
    To make the mainsail fuller in shape, the outhaul is eased to reduce the tension on the foot of the sail.
  15. countable billiards The end of a billiard or pool table behind the foot point where the balls are racked.
  16. countable malacology The muscular part of a bivalve mollusc by which it moves or holds its position on a surface.
  17. countable molecular biology The globular lower domain of a protein.
Usage notes
  • The ordinary plural of the unit of measurement is feet, but in many contexts, |foot itself may be used. This is a reflex of the Anglo-Saxon (Old English) genitive plural.


part of animal’s body
part of human body
bottom of anything
projection on equipment
unit of measure
  • Danish: fod, fod
  • Dutch: voet
  • Finnish: jalka
  • French: pied
  • Galician:
  • German: Fuß
  • Greek: πόδι (pódi)
  • Irish: troigh
  • Italian: piede
  • Kurdish:
  • Persian: (pâ); (fut) s or p, (fit) p
  • Russian: фут (fut)
  • Slovene: čevelj
  • Spanish: pie
  • Swedish: fot
  • Telugu: అడుగు (aDugu)
measure of rhythm
bottom edge of a sail
  • Finnish: alaliikki


  1. To use the foot to kick (usually a ball).
  2. To pay (a bill).


  • Danish: betale
  • Dutch: betalen, voldoen
  • Finnish: maksaa
  • French: payer
  • German: bezahlen
  • Interlingua: pagar
  • Italian: pagare
  • Norwegian: betale
  • Polish: bulić
  • Portuguese: pagar
  • Swedish: betala





  1. football (soccer)
    Zidane est un des meilleurs joueurs de foot du monde.
    Toutes les semaines, il regarde du foot à la télé.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

The foot is a structure found in many animals that is used for locomotion. In many animals, the foot is a separate organ at the terminal part of the leg made up of one or more segments or bones, generally including claws or nails.

General forms

Among land animals, some arthropods and all vertebrates have complex foot organs. The arthropod foot is known as a tarsus, and is distal to the tibia. In primitive insects, the tarsus was a single segment, but in more highly evolved insects the tarsus is composed of up to five segments, generally bearing claws as well.
The feet of terrestrial vertebrates, called tetrapods, first evolved in amphibians from the fins of their aquatic ancestors, fish that ventured out of the water as early as 370 million years ago, in the Upper Devonian Period, perhaps to avoid predation and exploit the greater resource availability on land. The fore- and hindlimbs of these earliest tetrapods evolved from the pectoral and pelvic fins of their fish ancestors, but early forms of feet such as those of Ichthyostega already contained the basic shape of the foot still possessed by tetrapods (although early tetrapods often had more than five digits, the most common form of foot in extant tetrapods).
The feet of terrestrial vertebrates are characterized as plantigrade, digitigrade, or unguligrade. In plantigrade animals, such as frogs, bears, and humans, the bottom of the entire foot supports the weight of the animal. In digitigrade animals, such as wolves and birds, the toes bear the animal's weight, while the upper regions of the foot, the ankle and wrist, remain elevated. Finally, in unguligrade animals, such as cows or horses, even the toes are elevated, the animal standing only atop its nails, which have evolved to bear weight and are called hooves.
The human foot is of the plantigrade form. The bottom of the foot is called the sole and the area just behind the toes is called the ball. The skin at the sole of the foot is denser than any other skin on the human body. The evolution of man has seen the density of the sole of the foot increase as man developed the ability to walk using the legs only.


The major bones in the human foot are:
  • Phalanges: The bones in the toes are called phalanges.
  • Metatarsals: The bones in the middle of the foot are called metatarsal bones.
  • Cuneiforms: There are three bones in the middle of the foot, towards the centre of the body, called cuneiforms.
  • Cuboid: The bone sitting adjacent to the cuneiforms on the outside of the foot is called the cuboid.
  • Navicular: This bone sits behind the cuneiforms.
  • Talus: Also called the ankle bone, the talus sits directly behind the navicular.
  • Calcaneus: Also called the heel bone, the calcaneus sits under the talus and behind the cuboid.
The foot also contains sesamoid bones in the distal portion of the first metatarsal bone.


The muscles of the foot include:



In different cultures, feet are perceived and treated differently.
  • In China, between the 10th and 20th centuries the practice of female foot binding was used to stop the growth of feet, resulting in an aesthetically preferred though deformed foot.
  • In Middle Eastern societies, female feet are considered to be beautiful organs that need constant care. Among the popular activities related to the feet in the Middle East are henna drawing and wearing of anklets.
  • Within several Christian denominations, foot washing is a religious ritual originating in Jesus' washing of the disciples' feet at the Last Supper.
  • Foot fetishism is a sexual interest and preoccupation with feet and hosiery. Playing footsie means people rubbing each other's feet, and can have sexual connotations, while a foot job is a sex act involving the feet.


Customs about footwear while indoors vary significantly from place to place and usually depend on climate, weather, and other factors:
  • It is customary to remove one's footwear when entering a home:
  • In some cultures, bare feet may be considered unsightly or offensive. In Thailand, it is considered extremely offensive to show someone the sole of your foot, although the practice of going barefoot is common, due to various reasons including hot climate and tradition.
  • In many religious subgroups of Uzbekistan, touching another's foot is a sign of affection. However, more conservative families consider this to be an act of promiscuity.
  • Regardless of covering, according to feet are the least respected parts of the body; they should not be in a higher position than someone's head and should not face someone or an image of Buddha.
  • The feet are one of the most common places to be tickled on the human body. The soles generally tend to be sensitive to tickling, although other places (such as the toes) are often found to be ticklish as well.

Customary measurement

One way to measure short distances on the ground is by placing one foot directly in front of the other; this apparently led to the adoption of the foot as a unit of length, even though the typical human foot does not correspond to this measure.
It is a myth that the Imperial "foot" (304.8 mm) is about the length of the average European male foot. The average today is less than 270 mm and 90% of the population is within 20 mm of that. Very few men today have feet that are a "foot" long: most are more than 35 mm shorter. In the past, the average length would have been less. Even the overall length of most shoes remains well short of one "foot". Tradition has it that the Imperial foot was based upon the size of Hercules' foot.

Medical aspects

Due to their position and function, feet are exposed to a variety of potential infections and injuries, including athlete's foot, bunions, ingrown toenails, Morton's neuroma, plantar fasciitis, plantar warts and stress fractures. In addition, there are several genetic conditions that can affect the shape and function of the feet, including a club foot or flat feet.
A doctor who specializes in the treatment of the feet practices podiatry and is called a podiatrist. A pedorthist specializes in the use and modification of footwear to treat problems related to the lower limbs.
Reflexology is an alternative therapy which involves the stimulation of the nerves and skin of the feet to improve a person's health.



  • Klenerman, Leslie, and Wood, Bernard. The Human Foot: A Companion to Clinical Studies. 2006, Springer. ISBN 185233925X.

External links

foot in Afrikaans: Voet
foot in Arabic: قدم
foot in Aragonese: Piet
foot in Asturian: Pie (anatomía)
foot in Aymara: Kayu
foot in Catalan: Peu
foot in Welsh: Troed
foot in German: Fuß
foot in Emiliano-Romagnolo: Pà
foot in Spanish: Pie (anatomía)
foot in Esperanto: Piedo
foot in Persian: پا
foot in French: Pied (anatomie)
foot in Korean: 발
foot in Icelandic: Fótur
foot in Italian: Piede (anatomia)
foot in Hebrew: כף רגל
foot in Croatian: Stopalo
foot in Latin: Pes
foot in Lithuanian: Pėda
foot in Malayalam: പാദം
foot in Malay (macrolanguage): Kaki
foot in Dutch: Voet (anatomie)
foot in Japanese: 足
foot in Norwegian: Fot (kroppsdel)
foot in Norwegian Nynorsk: Fot
foot in Occitan (post 1500): Pè
foot in Low German: Foot
foot in Polish: Stopa (anatomia)
foot in Portuguese: Pé
foot in Quechua: Chaki
foot in Russian: Стопа (анатомия)
foot in Simple English: Foot
foot in Slovenian: Stopalo
foot in Finnish: Jalkaterä
foot in Swedish: Fot
foot in Telugu: పాదము
foot in Thai: เท้า
foot in Tajik: Пой
foot in Turkish: Ayak (organ)
foot in Ukrainian: Стопа (анатомія)
foot in Urdu: فٹ
foot in Võro: Labajalg
foot in Yiddish: פוס
foot in Chinese: 脚

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Alexandrine, accent, accentuation, add, amble, ambulate, amphibrach, amphimacer, anacrusis, anapest, ankle, antispast, arch, arsis, bacchius, ball the jack, barge, barrel, base, baseboard, basement, beat, boltrope, boom, bowl along, breeze, breeze along, brush, bundle, cadence, caesura, canvas, cast, catalexis, chassis, chloriamb, chloriambus, circumambulate, clew, clip, clog, cloth, clubfoot, clump, colon, counterpoint, cretic, cringle, crowd of sail, cut along, dactyl, dactylic hexameter, dado, dance, diaeresis, digit, dimeter, dipody, dochmiac, dog, drag, drift, earing, elegiac, elegiac couplet, elegiac pentameter, emphasis, epitrite, extremity, feminine caesura, fetlock, figure, fleet, flit, float, flounce, fly, fly low, foot it, footing, footslog, fore-and-aft sail, forefoot, forepaw, foundation, fox-trot, frame, gather way, ghost, glide, go fast, halt, harefoot, head, heel, heptameter, heptapody, heroic couplet, hexameter, hexapody, highball, hippety-hop, hitch, hobble, hoof, hoof it, hop, iamb, iambic, iambic pentameter, ictus, instep, ionic, jaywalk, jingle, jog, jog on, jolt, jump, keel, leech, leg, leg it, lilt, limp, luff, lumber, lunge, lurch, make headway, make knots, make sternway, make way, masculine caesura, measure, meter, metrical accent, metrical foot, metrical group, metrical unit, metron, mince, molossus, mopboard, mora, movement, muslin, nadir, nip, numbers, outstrip the wind, pace, pad, paddle, paeon, pastern, patte, paw, pedal extremity, pedes, pedestrianize, peg, pentameter, pentapody, perambulate, period, peripateticate, pes, piaffe, piaffer, pied, plain sail, plod, plow the deep, pour it on, prance, press of sail, proceleusmatic, pug, pyrrhic, quantity, rack, rag, reduced sail, reef point, reefed sail, rhythm, ride, ride the sea, rip, roll, run, sail, sashay, saunter, scorch, scud, scuff, scuffle, scuttle, shake, shamble, shimmy, shoemold, shoot, shuffle, shuffle along, sidle, single-foot, sizzle, skim, skip, slink, slip, slither, slog, slouch, sole, speed, splayfoot, spondee, sprung rhythm, square sail, stagger, stalk, stamp, step, stomp, storm along, straddle, straggle, stress, stride, stroll, strut, stump, stump it, sum, summate, swagger, sweep, swing, syzygy, tap-dance, tear, tear along, tetrameter, tetrapody, tetraseme, thesis, thunder along, tittup, toddle, toe, tootsy, tot, total, tote, totter, traipse, tread, tribrach, trimeter, trip, tripody, triseme, trochee, trotter, trudge, ungula, waddle, wainscot, walk, walk the waters, waltz, wamble, whisk, whiz, wiggle, wobble, zing, zip, zoom
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