• WordNet 3.6
    • n foothold an initial accomplishment that opens the way for further developments "the town became a beachhead in the campaign to ban smoking outdoors","they are presently attempting to gain a foothold in the Russian market"
    • n foothold a place providing support for the foot in standing or climbing
    • n foothold an area in hostile territory that has been captured and is held awaiting further troops and supplies "an attempt to secure a bridgehead behind enemy lines","the only foothold left for British troops in Europe was Gibraltar"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Foothold A holding with the feet; firm standing; that on which one may tread or rest securely; footing.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n foothold That which sustains the feet firmly and prevents them from slipping; that on which one may stand or tread securely; hence, firm standing; footing; stable position; settlement; establishment.
    • n foothold A kind of light india-rubber overshoe, leaving the heel unprotected; a sandal. Sometimes called tip.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Foothold space on which to plant the feet: that which sustains the feet
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. fót, pl. fét; Ger. fuss, L. pes, pedis, Gr. pous, podos, Sans. pād.


In literature:

From that time till the legislative Union every enemy of England could safely count on finding a foothold and active friends in Ireland.
"Against Home Rule (1912)" by Various
On Aug. 27 we had also succeeded in throwing back upon the Meuse the enemy, who was endeavoring to gain a foothold on the left bank.
"New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915" by Various
He found one, lowered himself gingerly, and tested another foothold in a little bunch of dry moss.
"A Daughter of the Dons" by William MacLeod Raine
Other European nations also are acquiring a foothold in the archipelago.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XVIII, 1617-1620" by Various
Roy hung on valiantly, dragging her nearer for a firmer foothold.
"Far to Seek" by Maud Diver
Commerce only sought new footholds, sure that, given the inch, she in the end would have the ell.
"The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future" by A. T. Mahan
She felt as if her foothold must be insecure for evermore.
"Garman and Worse" by Alexander Lange Kielland
Within a year, by dint of hard work, he obtained more than a foothold.
"In Friendship's Guise" by Wm. Murray Graydon
Why had he chosen so insecure a foothold and made such a furious plunge at the fish?
"Prince Fortunatus" by William Black
Well is it, then, if the blind steps are guided to better foothold than they know how to choose.
"Idolatry" by Julian Hawthorne
The family was developed there, and, till man transplanted it, never succeeded in gaining a foothold elsewhere.
"Science in Arcady" by Grant Allen
It's no time now for a fellow to look round for a foothold.
"The Other Girls" by Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
And the squatters, in order to keep a foothold in the country, had to seek markets for their stock over the sea.
"The Book of the Bush" by George Dunderdale
In one of these the mule's aparejo struck a rock, which caused the animal to lose its foothold.
"Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2)" by Carl Lumholtz
I have a foothold in Chicago.
"Jewel's Story Book" by Clara Louise Burnham
This, then, is the story in briefest outline of the men who discovered America and who fought for a foothold on her borders.
"American Men of Action" by Burton E. Stevenson
But it was too late; that slippery mud was no place to try and regain a foothold, and over he came.
"Fanny Goes to War" by Pat Beauchamp
Kenneth found a foothold and climbed up the wall of rock, higher and higher, until at last he crept upon a high ridge and looked over.
"Aunt Jane's Nieces Abroad" by Edith Van Dyne
But Black Boy's heels were kicking frantically, now on thin air, now for a second against an impossible slope of rock which offered no foothold.
"Carette of Sark" by John Oxenham
Every step we took forward we sank up to the middle, but still we went on, trampling till we got firm foothold.
"The Adventures of Akbar" by Flora Annie Steel

In poetry:

What thatch survives is dung for the grass,
The best grass on the farm. A pity the roof
Will not bear a mower to mow it. But
Only fowls have foothold enough.
"The Barn" by Edward Thomas
Our gates were strong, our walls were thick,
So smooth and high, no man could win
A foothold there, no clever trick
Could take us, have us dead or quick.
Only a bird could have got in.
"The Castle" by Edwin Muir
So stand thou, therefore, heart, from time to time,
Beside the graves of the dead years, and feel
Each sin from out its earthly foothold steal,
Leaving the path to heaven sweet to climb.
"The Buriel Of The Old Year" by Alexander Anderson
Mr Past being no friends of mine,
all them around: Sir Future Dubious,
calamitous & grand:
I can no foothold here; wherefore I pines
for Dr Present, who won't thrive to us
hand over neither hand
"Dream Song 114: Henry in trouble whirped out lonely whines" by John Berryman
Beaten, broken, flung from their foothold on the height,
Driven down like sheep to the reddened stream below,
Huddled, swept and torn from the fury of the fight,
Down and down the hill reeled the columns of the foe.
"Basaco" by Cicely Fox Smith

In news:

Jacobs gets foothold in football coaching.
IT outsourcing gives Indian firms a foothold in management consulting business.
Syngenta Boosts Foothold in Rice Market.
US defense firms trying to find bigger foothold in India.
Why Western retailers are scrambling to get a foothold in Indonesia.
Al-Qaida gaining foothold in Syria.
ExxonMobil Tightens Its Foothold on Russia's Offshore Oil.
Indy 500 strives to regain foothold in American culture.
Outside Medicaid Managed Care Company Attempting to Gain Foothold in Louisville.
Peanuts gaining foothold among Mid-South row crop farmers.
Foxconn Gets Japan Foothold With Stake in Sharp.
Pro-level talent getting foothold in college hockey game.
Donald Trump's foothold in Washington.
Falcons can't get a foothold .
Freedom Gains a Fledgling Foothold in Libya.

In science:

Although the results found here are only on the periphery of usefulness for model building, the methodology developed in this paper gives a foothold from which further improvements can be made.
Warm inflation dynamics in the low temperature regime
Moreover, if punishers are rare, they suffer tremendous costs from punishing left and right, while inflicting little harm on the defecting members of the population and hence it remains unclear how punishment behavior could have gained a foothold in a population.
Stochastic evolutionary game dynamics
In this fashion, in proofs, ∂ provides a foothold for inductive arguments.
Abstract approach to Ramsey theory and Ramsey theorems for finite trees