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From Middle English fotstep, fotstappe, from Old English *fōtstepe, *fōtstæpe (attested only in derivative fōtstappel (footstep)), equivalent to foot +‎ step. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Foutstappe (footstep), West Frisian fuotstap (footstep), Dutch voetstap (footstep).


  • IPA(key): /ˈfʊtstɛp/
  • Hyphenation: foot‧step


footstep (plural footsteps)

  1. The mark or impression left by a foot; a track.
    The child watched as his footsteps in the sand were washed away by the waves.
  2. By extension, the indications or waypoints of a course or direction taken.
    To walk the footsteps of greatness requires that you start at the bottom of a long stair.
  3. The sound made by walking, running etc.
    The footsteps of the students echoed in the empty hall.
  4. A step, as in a stair.
    The garden path had a small footstep down to the main walkway.
  5. The distance between one foot and the next when walking; a pace.
    Mere footsteps away from the victim lay the murder weapon.
  6. The act of taking a step.
    Take one more footstep towards me, and I'll make you sorry!
  7. (obsolete) An inclined plane under a hand printing press.


Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.