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or toe-hold

[toh-hohld] /ˈtoʊ hoʊld/
a small ledge or niche just large enough to support the toes, as in climbing.
any slight or initial support, influence, advantage, progress, or the like:
His knowledge of Latin gave him a toehold for learning French.
a batten nailed to a sloping roof as a support for workers.
Wrestling. a hold in which an opponent's foot is twisted.
Origin of toehold
1875-80; toe + hold1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for toehold
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Tremont hooked a foot under a toehold to maintain his position facing a mirror.

    Satellite System Horace Brown Fyfe
  • His foot found a toehold and he drew himself up to where another rough outcrop gave grip for his hand.

  • Hooking into the solid green water of that eddy, Andy found himself a toehold, and presently clambered out.

    Down the Columbia Lewis R. Freeman
  • I took one look at his smile and understood—Debra had established a toehold in Liberty Square.

  • If the United Nations gets a toehold out here, the whole Belt will go into their pocket, you realize that.

    Gold in the Sky Alan Edward Nourse
  • He searched the rear hull, looking for some break in the polished metal that might serve as a toehold.

    Gold in the Sky Alan Edward Nourse
  • You've got to get a toehold yourself before you can look at a girl.

    The Huntress Hulbert Footner
British Dictionary definitions for toehold


a small foothold to facilitate climbing
any means of gaining access, support, etc: the socialist party gained a toehold in the local elections
a wrestling hold in which the opponent's toe is held and his leg twisted against the joints
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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Slang definitions & phrases for toehold



A disturbance; fuss; flap: What's all the to-do? (1827+)

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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