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[foo t-muh n] /ˈfʊt mən/
noun, plural footmen.
a liveried servant who attends the door or carriage, waits on table, etc.
a metal stand before a fire, to keep something hot.
Archaic. an infantryman.
Origin of footman
1250-1300; Middle English fotman. See foot, man1
Related forms
underfootman, noun, plural underfootmen. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for footman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And he only consented to be treated like a footman when he dressed like one.

    Evan Harrington, Complete George Meredith
  • With help from a footman in holding down the patient, the injection was made.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • "It is Kretzschmar, the king's footman and spy," she whispered.

    Old Fritz and the New Era Louise Muhlbach
  • Instantly a footman presented himself with a tray of sandwiches.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • It was a man-servant who came to open the door, a footman in a red waistcoat.

  • As the footman retired, Strong passed his hand across his forehead.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • Just beyond it was drawn up a motor-car, beside which stood a footman.

    The Angel of Pain E. F. Benson
British Dictionary definitions for footman


noun (pl) -men
a male servant, esp one in livery
a low four-legged metal stand used in a fireplace for utensils, etc
(formerly) a foot soldier
any of several arctiid moths related to the tiger moths, esp the common footman (Eilema lurideola), with yellowish hind wings and brown forewings with a yellow front stripe; they produce woolly bear larvae
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 footman

c.1300, "foot soldier;" late 14c., "one who goes on foot;" as a personal attendant, originally one who ran before or alongside his master's carriage, announcing its arrival (and keeping it from tipping over). The modern, non-jogging servant sense is from c.1700, though the running footmen still were in service mid-18c. From foot (n.) + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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