9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[foo t-hohld] /ˈfʊtˌhoʊld/
a place or support for the feet; a place where a person may stand or walk securely.
a secure position, especially a firm basis for further progress or development:
They gained a foothold in the New York market before beginning their national campaign.
Origin of foothold
1615-25; foot + hold1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for foothold
  • We faced inward, moving slowly from one handhold and foothold to the next.
  • The familiar bridge, on which so many of our safe sea-days have been spent, is canted at an angle that makes foothold uneasy.
  • The fot: fet type of plural secured but a momentary foothold.
  • Although they can release their muscular foothold to tumble in a current-a few can even swim freely-they are rarely in a hurry.
  • He'd almost pulled off the feat but ended up standing on a single ladder rung that blocked the only available foothold.
  • To head off serious decay and disease, scientists are developing tools that prevent these microbes from gaining a foothold.
  • It's as if she were back on the glacier helplessly looking for a foothold.
  • She's also looking to strengthen her company's foothold on the popular leggings market.
  • It would help if farmers could sell or mortgage their rural land and use the money to help gain a stronger foothold in the cities.
  • Apple may have a strong foothold on the consumer market, but it did so at the cost of missing out on the business market.
British Dictionary definitions for foothold


a ledge, hollow, or other place affording a secure grip for the foot, as during climbing
a secure position from which further progress may be made: a foothold for a successful career
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for foothold

1620s, from foot (n.) + hold (n.). Figurative use by 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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