20 English Idioms with “Foot”

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In the English language, idioms add color and depth to our conversations, often by using everyday items in unexpected ways. The word “foot,” apart from its literal meaning, steps into many idioms to describe a variety of situations, from initiating actions to managing difficulties. Here are 20 common English idioms that incorporate the word “foot,” each with a succinct explanation and a brief example to help you understand and use them effectively in your everyday communication.

English Idioms with Foot

1. Put your best foot forward

Meaning: To try as hard as you can.

Example: He put his best foot forward in the interview.

2. Get off on the wrong foot

Meaning: To start a relationship badly.

Example: I got off on the wrong foot with my new coworker.

3. Foot the bill

Meaning: To pay for something.

Example: She footed the bill at the restaurant.

4. Have a foot in the door

Meaning: To have a small but initial involvement.

Example: An internship gets your foot in the door.

5. Drag one’s feet

Meaning: To delay or avoid doing something.

Example: He’s dragging his feet on the assignment.

6. Put one’s foot in one’s mouth

Meaning: To say something embarrassing or wrong.

Example: I put my foot in my mouth during the meeting.

7. Footloose and fancy-free

Meaning: Free from responsibilities; carefree.

Example: She’s been footloose and fancy-free since the breakup.

8. Set foot

Meaning: To enter a place.

Example: He never set foot in that house again.

9. On the wrong foot

Meaning: Starting something in a way that is likely to fail.

Example: The project started on the wrong foot.

10. Dip a toe/foot

Meaning: To start something cautiously.

Example: He dipped a toe into stock market investing.

11. Back on one’s feet

Meaning: To recover, especially from financial or health problems.

Example: She’s finally back on her feet after the surgery.

12. Have one foot in the grave

Meaning: To be close to death.

Example: At 95, he jokes that he has one foot in the grave.

13. Cool one’s heels

Meaning: To wait.

Example: He cooled his heels in the lobby.

14. Under one’s feet

Meaning: In someone’s way.

Example: The kids are always under my feet.

15. On one’s feet

Meaning: Standing up, especially for a long time.

Example: She was on her feet all day.

16. Step on someone’s toes

Meaning: To offend or annoy someone by interfering.

Example: I hope I didn’t step on his toes by taking charge.

17. Sweep someone off their feet

Meaning: To impress someone greatly.

Example: His charm swept her off her feet.

18. Vote with one’s feet

Meaning: To leave as a way of showing disapproval.

Example: Customers are voting with their feet.

19. Stand on one’s own two feet

Meaning: To be independent.

Example: She stands on her own two feet now.

20. Keep one’s feet on the ground

Meaning: To remain sensible and realistic.

Example: Despite his fame, he keeps his feet on the ground.

English Idioms with Foot


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