1. <anatomy> The terminal part of the leg of man or an animal; especially, the part below the ankle or wrist; that part of an animal upon which it rests when standing, or moves. See Manus, and Pes.

2. <marine biology> The muscular locomotive organ of a mollusk. It is a median organ arising from the ventral region of body, often in the form of a flat disk, as in snails.

3. That which corresponds to the foot of a man or animal; as, the foot of a table; the foot of a stocking.

4. The lowest part or base; the ground part; the bottom, as of a mountain or column; also, the last of a row or series; the end or extremity, especially. If associated with inferiority; as, the foot of a hill; the foot of the procession; the foot of a class; the foot of the bed. " And now at foot Of heaven's ascent they lift their feet." (Milton)

5. Fundamental principle; basis; plan; used only in the singular. " Answer directly upon the foot of dry reason." (Berkeley)

6. Recognised condition; rank; footing; used only in the singular. " As to his being on the foot of a servant." (Walpole)

7. A measure of length equivalent to twelve inches; one third of a yard. This measure is supposed to be taken from the length of a man's foot. It differs in length in different countries. In the United States and in England it is 304.8 millimetres.

8. Soldiers who march and fight on foot; the infantry, usually designated as the foot, in distinction from the cavalry. "Both horse and foot."

9. A combination of syllables consisting a metrical element of a verse, the syllables being formerly distinguished by their quantity or length, but in modern poetry by the accent.

10. The lower edge of a sail.

Foot is often used adjectively, signifying of or pertaining to a foot or the feet, or to the base or lower part. It is also much used as the first of compounds.

By foot, or On foot, by walking; as, to pass a stream on foot. Cubic foot. See Cubic. Foot and mouth disease, a contagious disease (Eczema epizootica) of cattle, sheep, swine, etc, characterised by the formation of vesicles and ulcers in the mouth and about the hoofs. Foot of the fine, to preserve decorum. "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God." To put one's foot down, to take a resolute stand; to be determined. To put the best foot foremost, to make a good appearance; to do one's best) at one's mercy; as, to trample under foot. Below par. "They would be forced to sell . . . Far under foot."

Origin: OE. Fot, foot, pl. Feet. AS. Ft, pl. Ft; akin to D. Voet, OHG. Fuoz, G. Fuss, Icel. Fir, Sw. Fot, Dan. Fod, Goth. Ftus, L. Pes, Gr, Skr. Pad, Icel. Fet step, pace measure of a foot, feta to step, find one's way. 77. Cf. Antipodes, Cap-a-pie, Expedient, Fet to fetch, Fetlock, Fetter, Pawn a piece in chess, Pedal.

(31 Mar 1998)

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