Open main menu


Alternative formsEdit


foot +‎ fall



footfall (countable and uncountable, plural footfalls)

  1. (countable) The sound made by a footstep.
    • 1611, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, act 2, scene 2,
      [] like hedgehogs which
      Lie tumbling in my barefoot way and mount
      Their pricks at my footfall.
    • 1916, Rawindranāth Thākur, "The Hungry Stones," in The Hungry Stones And Other Stories,
      I heard many footfalls, as if a large number of persons were rushing down the steps.
    • 1936, T. S. Eliot, Burnt Norton:
      What might have been and what has been
      Point to one end, which is always present.
      Footfalls echo in the memory
      Down the passage which we did not take
      Towards the door we never opened
      Into the rose-garden.
  2. (chiefly Britain, uncountable) Foot (pedestrian) traffic.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, chapter 1, in The Silverado Squatters:
      This stir of change and these perpetual echoes of the moving footfall, haunt the land. Men move eternally, still chasing Fortune.
    • 2008 December 9, "Bargains galore in battle of the high street," The Scotsman:
      With high-street stores desperate to increase footfall and buck the financial downturn, retailers have started issuing discount vouchers.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 209:
      John Betjeman enjoyed travelling on the line and said that, when he retired, he'd like to be the station master at Blake Hall, which was the stop before Ongar until it (Blake Hall) was closed permanently in 1981, its passenger footfall being down to six a day, or twelve, depending on whether you're counting passengers or feet.