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[foo t-print] /ˈfʊtˌprɪnt/
a mark left by the shod or unshod foot, as in earth or sand.
an impression of the sole of a person's foot, especially one taken for purposes of identification.
Informal. the track of a tire, especially on wet pavement.
a unique set of characteristics, actions, etc., that leave a trace and serve as a means of identification: Be careful when you post on social media—your online footprint could harm your reputation.
The tumors share the same genetic footprint.
the area affected by an increase in the level of sound or noise, as that generated by an airplane.
Telecommunications. the area of the earth's surface within which a communications satellite's signals can be received.
Aerospace. the area within which it is predicted that a spacecraft or its debris will land.
the surface space of a desk or tabletop occupied by a piece of equipment, especially a computer or other electronic device.
the surface area occupied by any structure, device, etc.:
The new store will have a large footprint.
the impact that humans have on the environment, especially in the utilization of natural resources: China's water footprint;
ways to reduce our environmental footprint.
any impact or effect, or its scope:
the company’s wide footprint across Puerto Rico.
Also called ecological footprint. the amount of biologically productive land and ocean area required to sustain the resource consumption and waste production of an individual, population, or human activity: measured in global acres or hectares.
Computers. the amount of memory or disk space required by a program.
1545-55; foot + print Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for footprints
  • The enormous footprints for which it is named have been as large as long and wide.
  • The first bigfoot hunters began following the discovery of footprints at bluff creek.
  • The next morning, large footprints were claimed to be found around the cabin.
  • Fossilized footprints indicate that it probably lived in herds.
  • A prankster had used a hippopotamus foot umbrella stand to make the footprints.
  • Human fossils were with a hearth, dwelling, tools, footprints, plant and animal fossils.
  • However, there were many large footprints which could not be identified.
British Dictionary definitions for footprints


an indentation or outline of the foot of a person or animal on a surface
the shape and size of the area something occupies: enlarging the footprint of the building, a computer with a small footprint
impact on the environment
a military presence: since 1944, America's military footprint in Europe has been in the West
(computing) the amount of resources, such as disk space and memory, that an application requires See also electronic footprint
an identifying characteristic on land or water, such as the area in which an aircraft's sonic boom can be heard or the area covered by the down-blast of a hovercraft
the area in which the signal from a direct broadcasting satellite is receivable
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 footprints



1550s, from foot (n.) + print. Related: Footprints. Old English had fotspor, fotswæð.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for footprints


  1. A history of activity; record; track record: Reporters were wondering about the Justice's footprint (1990s+)
  2. The horizontal space needed for a machine, appliance, etc: The new computers have a very small footprint (1990s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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