From Middle English fotstep, fotstappe, from Old English *fōtstepe, *fōtstæpe (attested only in derivative fōtstappel (“footstep”)), equivalent to foot + step. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Foutstappe (“footstep”), West Frisian fuotstap (“footstep”), Dutch voetstap (“footstep”).
- IPA(key): /ˈfʊtstɛp/
- Hyphenation: foot‧step
footstep (plural footsteps)
- The mark or impression left by a foot; a track.
- The child watched as his footsteps in the sand were washed away by the waves.
- By extension, the indications or waypoints of a course or direction taken.
- To walk the footsteps of greatness requires that you start at the bottom of a long stair.
- The sound made by walking, running etc.
- The footsteps of the students echoed in the empty hall.
- A step, as in a stair.
- The garden path had a small footstep down to the main walkway.
- The distance between one foot and the next when walking; a pace.
- Mere footsteps away from the victim lay the murder weapon.
- The act of taking a step.
- Take one more footstep towards me, and I'll make you sorry!
1780, William Cowper, “Light Shining out of Darkneſs”, in Twenty-ſix Letters on Religious Subjects […] To which are added Hymns […] , fourth edition, page 252:
God moves in a myſterious way, / His wonders to perform; / He plants his footſteps in the ſea, / And rides upon the ſtorm.
- (obsolete) An inclined plane under a hand printing press.
- (mark left by a foot): footprint, step, track
- (signs of a course taken): point, path, step, trail
- (sound of a footstep): footfall, plod, step, tread
- (step, as in a stair): riser, step
- (distance of one footstep): pace, step, stride
- (act of taking a step): pace, plod, step, stride, tread
Translations to be checked