shoe horn


a shaped piece of horn, metal, or the like, inserted in the heel of a shoe to make it slip on more easily.
verb (used with object)
to force into a limited or tight space: Can you shoehorn four of us into the back seat of your car?

1580–90; shoe + horn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shoehorn (ˈʃuːˌhɔːn)
1.  a smooth curved implement of horn, metal, plastic, etc, inserted at the heel of a shoe to ease the foot into it
2.  (tr) to cram (people or things) into a very small space

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1589, from shoe + horn; earlier shoeing-horn (1440). The verb in the fig. sense of "to put or thrust (something somewhere) by means of a 'tool' " is recorded from 1859. Earlier it meant "to cuckold" (c.1650), with a play on horn.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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