footfall

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • Received Pronunciation: /ˈfʊtˌfɔːl/
  • General American: /ˈfʊtˌfɑl/

Etymology[edit]

foot + fall

Noun[edit]

footfall (plural footfalls)

  1. (countable) The sound made by a footstep.
    • 1611, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, act 2, sc. 2,
      . . . like hedgehogs which
      Lie tumbling in my barefoot way and mount
      Their pricks at my footfall.
    • 1916, Rabindranath Tagore, "The Hungry Stones," in The Hungry Stones And Other Stories,
      I heard many footfalls, as if a large number of persons were rushing down the steps.
    • 1936, T. S. Eliot, Burnt Norton:
      What might have been and what has been
      Point to one end, which is always present.
      Footfalls echo in the memory
      Down the passage which we did not take
      Towards the door we never opened
      Into the rose-garden.
  2. (chiefly UK, uncountable) Foot (pedestrian) traffic.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, The Silverado Squatters, ch. 1,
      This stir of change and these perpetual echoes of the moving footfall, haunt the land. Men move eternally, still chasing Fortune.
    • 2008, "Bargains galore in battle of the high street," The Scotsman, 9 Dec. (retrieved 11 Dec. 2008),
      With high-street stores desperate to increase footfall and buck the financial downturn, retailers have started issuing discount vouchers.