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Footprints in sand



From foot +‎ print.





footprint (plural footprints)

  1. The impression of the foot in a soft substance such as sand or snow.
    Synonyms: footmark, ichnogram
    • 1928, Lawrence R. Bourne, chapter 13, in Well Tackled![1]:
      “Yes, there are two distinct sets of footprints, both wearing rubber shoes—one I think ordinary plimsolls, the other goloshes,” replied the sergeant.
  2. Space required by a piece of equipment.
    This computer has a smaller footprint.
  3. (computing) The amount of hard drive space required for a program.
  4. (computing) The audit trail left by a crashed program.
  5. A trace left behind that gives evidence of some action having occurred.
    • 2012, James Price Dillard, Lijiang Shen, The SAGE Handbook of Persuasion: Developments in Theory and Practice:
      In a recent study with a movie recommendation site [] , higher message interactivity in the form of footprints of user actions, responsive suggestions in a search box, and live-chatting with an online agent led to greater perceived contingency and engagement with the site, which ultimately created more positive attitudes toward it and higher intention to recommend the site to others.
  6. (figurative, in the plural) What a person has done before, as a profession or lifestyle, serving as a model for others.
    He is following in his father's footprints.
  7. The surface space occupied by a structure.
    the footprint of a building
    • 2007, Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS): Environmental Impact:
      Heavy debris would generally travel farther downrange within the debris footprint; lighter material would generally fall near the point of intercept. Footprint lengths can vary []
    • 2023 July 26, Pip Dunn, “Merseyrail '777s' are OK for commuters”, in RAIL, number 988, page 60:
      As a commuter train, there's not really much need for a lot of luggage provision, especially as there is a lot of space within the footprint of the saloon.
  8. A company's geographic market presence.
    The store, which is slated to open next month, increases the company's footprint in the market to 14 locations.
  9. (ecology) The ecological impact of a human activity, machine, etc.
    Hyponyms: carbon footprint, ecological footprint
    My carbon footprint is very high.
  10. Availability of a satellite from the ground.
    • 2014, August E. Grant, Ashley J. Bennington, Communication Technology Update, page 274:
      When a satellite's footprint covers a wider area than intended, the footprint is said to “spillover” [sic] into surrounding territory.
  11. (cartography) A polygon representing the shape of an item.
    building footprint

Derived terms



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Further reading