• "I took to my heels at once."
    "I took to my heels at once."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v heel put a new heel on "heel shoes"
    • v heel strike with the heel of the club "heel a golf ball"
    • v heel perform with the heels "heel that dance"
    • v heel follow at the heels of a person
    • v heel tilt to one side "The balloon heeled over","the wind made the vessel heel","The ship listed to starboard"
    • n heel the bottom of a shoe or boot; the back part of a shoe or boot that touches the ground and provides elevation
    • n heel (golf) the part of the clubhead where it joins the shaft
    • n heel the lower end of a ship's mast
    • n heel the back part of the human foot
    • n heel one of the crusty ends of a loaf of bread
    • n heel someone who is morally reprehensible "you dirty dog"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

He Let Both Heels Fly 133 He Let Both Heels Fly 133
Measuring around the heel Measuring around the heel
Checking the heel measurement of the last Checking the heel measurement of the last
Building the heel Building the heel
Heel and sole nailed Heel and sole nailed
Using the heel-shave Using the heel-shave
Burnishing the heel Burnishing the heel
Rose cutting with a heel, 4 leaves cut, 2 leaves left Rose cutting with a heel, 4 leaves cut, 2 leaves left

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Humphrey O'Sullivan invented the rubber heel because he was tired of pounding the pavements of Boston looking for a job.
    • Heel (Arch) A cyma reversa; -- so called by workmen.
    • Heel Anything regarded as like a human heel in shape; a protuberance; a knob.
    • Heel In a carding machine, the part of a flat nearest the cylinder.
    • Heel In a small arm, the corner of the but which is upwards in the firing position.
    • Heel (Man) Management by the heel, especially the spurred heel; as, the horse understands the heel well.
    • Heel The after end of a ship's keel.
    • Heel The hinder part of any covering for the foot, as of a shoe, sock, etc.; specif., a solid part projecting downward from the hinder part of the sole of a boot or shoe.
    • Heel The hinder part of the foot; sometimes, the whole foot; -- in man or quadrupeds. "He [the stag] calls to mind his strength and then his speed,
      His winged heels and then his armed head."
    • Heel The latter or remaining part of anything; the closing or concluding part. "The heel of a hunt.""The heel of the white loaf."
    • Heel The lower end of a mast, a boom, the bowsprit, the sternpost, etc.
    • Heel (Arch) The lower end of a timber in a frame, as a post or rafter. In the United States, specif., the obtuse angle of the lower end of a rafter set sloping.
    • Heel The part of a thing corresponding in position to the human heel; the lower part, or part on which a thing rests
    • Heel The part of any tool next the tang or handle; as, the heel of a scythe.
    • Heel (Golf) The part of the face of the club head nearest the shaft.
    • Heel The uppermost part of the blade of a sword, next to the hilt.
    • Heel To add a heel to; as, to heel a shoe.
    • Heel To arm with a gaff, as a cock for fighting.
    • Heel (Golf) To hit (the ball) with the heel of the club.
    • v. i Heel hēl (Naut) To lean or tip to one side, as a ship; as, the ship heels aport; the boat heeled over when the squall struck it.
    • Heel (Football) To make (a fair catch) standing with one foot advanced, the heel on the ground and the toe up.
    • Heel To perform by the use of the heels, as in dancing, running, and the like. "I cannot sing,
      Nor heel the high lavolt."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Marilyn Monroe used to cut down the heel on one of her shoes to achieve her butt-wiggling walk in films.
    • n heel The part of the foot which is below and behind the ankle. Technically — In anatomy, the calcaneal part of the tarsus, whatever its shape or position. In man and other plantigrade animals it rests upon the ground: in digitigrades, ungulates, etc., it is elevated, and is often called knee by a misnomer, heel being popularly applied to the hoofs of the hind legs. Thus, the hock of a horse is anatomically the heel. See cuts under foot, hock, and lion.
    • n heel In ornithology: Properly, the calcaneum or talus, at the proximal end of the tarsometatarsus. The hind toe or hallux of a bird: incorrect, but frequent.
    • n heel In entomology: The terminal extremity of the tibia. Say (and others). The base of the first tarsal joint, when it is curved to join the tibia. This is the calx of Kirby, by him limited to the heels of four posterior tarsi. A name given by Leach to the bristles forming the strigilis.
    • n heel A part of a thing resembling the heel in shape or position. The lower backmost part of something, or that part upon which it rests, as the after end of a ship's keel, the lower part of a mast, a boom, a stern-post, or a rafter, or the larger or principal end of a tool; used in a great variety of special applications.
    • n heel In odontography, a low posterior cusp of the sectorial molar tooth of a carnivorous animal.
    • n heel In architecture, a cyma reversa.
    • n heel The top of the butt of a gun-stock.
    • n heel That part of the blade of a sword which is nearest the hilt, usually the heaviest part of the blade, and in some swords not sharpened, but having two square edges.
    • n heel The latter or concluding part of anything; the end; a part left over; a remainder: as, the heel of a session or a discourse; the heel of a loaf.
    • n heel The foot, without reference to its parts; also, the hind foot of some animals, as of a horse.
    • n heel The hinder and lower part of a shoe or stocking. In a stocking it includes the lower as well as the back part; in a shoe it is properly restricted to the lower or bottom part, usually formed of a series of pieces of leather called lifts or taps, the part which covers the hind part of the foot being called the quarters. See quarter and heel-tap, and cut under boot.
    • n heel plural Footsteps; course.
    • n heel To take to flight; start off: as, he picked up his heels and ran like a deer.
    • heel To perform by the use of the heels or feet, as a dance.
    • heel To furnish with a heel or heel-piece, as any foot-covering; put a heel to, as a shoe or stocking.
    • heel To catch by the heels.
    • heel To arm with a gaff or spur, as a cock.
    • heel To equip or arm. See heeled, 2.
    • heel In sporting, to come or walk behind one's heels: used of a dog, and chiefly in command.
    • heel To tilt, incline, or cant over from a vertical position, as a ship.
    • heel To pour out.
    • heel To turn partly over; come to a tilted position; cant: as, the ship heeled over.
    • n heel The act of inclining or canting from a vertical position; a cant: as, the ship gave a heel to port. Also heeling.
    • n heel An obsolete spelling of heal.
    • heel Same as heal, 3.
    • heel In golf, to strike (a ball) on the heel of the club.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Heel hēl the part of the foot projecting behind: the whole foot (esp. of beasts): the covering of the heel, as on a boot: a spur: the hinder part of anything
    • v.t Heel to use the heel: to furnish with heels: to arm with a steel spur, as a fighting cock: to seize by the heels:
    • v.i Heel to follow well (of a dog)
    • v.i Heel hēl to incline: to lean on one side, as a ship
    • v.t Heel to tilt
    • v.t Heel (U.S.) to supply with money
    • ***


  • Charles Haddon Spurgeon
    “Said will be a little ahead, but done should follow at his heel.”
  • Angela Lansbury
    Angela Lansbury
    “I just stopped playing bitches on wheels and peoples' mothers. I have only a few more years to kick up my heels!”
  • William Lilly
    William Lilly
    “Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens.”
  • Robert Collier
    “Supply always comes on the heels of demand.”
  • Christopher Morley
    “High heels were invented by a woman who had been kissed on the forehead.”
  • Minna Antrim
    “Satiety is a mongrel that barks at the heels of plenty.”


Achilles' heel - A person's weak spot is their Achilles' heel.
Bring someone to heel - If you bring someone to heel, you make them obey you.('Call someone to heel' is also used.)
Come on the heels of - If something comes on the heels of something, it follows very soon after it.
Come to heel - If someone comes to heel, they stop behaving in a way that is annoying to someone in authority and start being obedient.
Cool your heels - If you leave someone to cool their heels, you make them wait until they have calmed down.
Dig your heels in - If you dig your heels in, you start to resist something.
Down at heel - Someone who is down at heel is short of money. ('Down in heel' is used in American English)
Drag your heels - If you drag your heels, you either delay doing something or do it as slowly as possible because you don't want to do it.
Hairy at the heel - (UK) Someone who is hairy at the heel is dangerous or untrustworthy.
Hard on someone's heels - If you are hard on someone's heels, you are close to them and trying to catch or overtake them. ('Hot on someone's heels' is also used.)
Head over heels in love - When someone falls passionately in love and is intoxicated by the feeling has fallen head over heels in love.
Kick up your heels - (USA) If you kick up your heels, you go to parties or celebrate something.
Kick your heels - (UK) If you have to kick your heels, you are forced to wait for the result or outcome of something.
Show someone a clean pair of heels - If you show someone a clean pair of heels, you run faster than them when they are chasing you.
Take to your heels - If you take to your heels, you run away.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. hele, heele, AS. hēla, perh. for hōhila, fr. AS. hōh, heel (cf. Hough); but cf. D. hiel, OFries. heila, hēla, Icel. hæll, Dan. hæl, Sw. häl, and L. calx,. √12. Cf. Inculcate


In literature:

It does seem as if you needed four nursemaids and a valet at your heels to pick up after you.
"Walter and the Wireless" by Sara Ware Bassett
With the bull-dog close at his heels, Ormiston carried the boy into the house.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
He could barely kick it with his heels when he threw himself flat.
"The Camp in the Snow" by William Murray Graydon
The schooner was heeling in a manner which showed the thrust of wind.
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
Capi and Dulcie were still at my heels, Zerbino was in the distance.
"Nobody's Boy" by Hector Malot
He kicked up his heels and rushed forward, me close behind with my gun.
"Blue Ridge Country" by Jean Thomas
He will serve Blackbeard only till he can trip him by the heels.
"Blackbeard: Buccaneer" by Ralph D. Paine
Water ran in at the points of her shoes and out again at the heels.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
The canoe, thus lightened, heeled round into the current, and swept on.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
It was a small coal cinder and an ash stain in the shape of a heel, apparently overlooked by a careless sweeper.
"The Young Railroaders" by Francis Lovell Coombs

In poetry:

“I saw her mainsail lash the sea
As I clung to the rock alone;
Then she heeled over, and down she went,
And sank like any stone.
"Winstanley" by Jean Ingelow
"'Ods blood! What songs this night resound
Upon our London streets?
The mayor shall feel my irate heel
If aught that sound repeats!
"The Bard Of Wales" by Janos Arany
They took him then, those wicked men,
They trailed him all along;
They put a stick between his lips,
And through his heels a thong;
"The Spectre Pig" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Haar maatjies staar haar treurig aan,
hoe sy hoog oor die bome gaan,
tot sy met heel haar rokkie fyn
daar in die verte glad verdwyn!
"Die spinnerak-rokkie" by Eugene Marais
He said, & sprung with swift career
To trace a Circle for the year,
Where since the seasons ever wheel,
And tread on one anothers heel.
"An Allegory On Man" by Thomas Parnell
The distance of the stars is hers;
The least of all her worshippers,
The dust beneath her dainty heel,
She knows not that I see or feel.
"The Henchman" by John Greenleaf Whittier

In news:

We love how Vanessa rocked a flirty dress with her leather bomber and jazzed the look up a bit with her Yves Saint Laurent Tribute heels.
Race Slippers for the Well-Heeled.
For most of its 109 years, the Missouri Athletic Club downtown has been a comfortable place for the well-heeled to work out and/or enjoy a sti.
Fresh off the heels of his third and final debate against Mitt Romney, President Obama at a campaign.
Yes, that Fergie -- lead singer of the hip-hop super group the Black Eyed Peas, her five-inch heels spiking trash as she walked in.
Who Walked the Great Wall of China in Heels.
UNC-Chapel Hill / Soccer Oh Danny Boy: Tar Heels men's soccer grind out 1-0 over West Virginia.
Hard Hat & High Heels' Party is Sept 24.
Authorities say that they arrested a male student Friday morning on the heels of two threats against the school.
Hot on the heels of "Snow White and the Huntsman" comes another twisted take on an old fairy tale.
Those who are "Tar Heel born" and "Tar Heel bred" have surely listened to one of Woody Durham's Carolina game play-by-plays.
Stilman White spent nearly half of his childhood growing up in Wilmington, but he was never much of a Tar Heels basketball fan.
A woman displays a heel shoe made of chocolate on a stand of Cioccoland, an exhibition of chocolate products on October 31, 2012.
Handbag trade-in at Head Over Heels .
'Glee' Star Lea Michele Falls Head Over Heels in New Candie's Commercial (Video).

In science:

Een van de grootste raadsels is het vinden van een goede beschrijving van zwaartekracht op heel kleine lengteschaal.
Topological Strings and Quantum Curves
Figuur 1.4: Als de straal R van een cylinder heel klein wordt, zijn de cylinder en een rechte lijn moeilijk van elkaar te onderscheiden.
Topological Strings and Quantum Curves
Inspection of the pdf for stars in the ‘heel’ of the shoe (σ̟ /h̟i ∼ 0.3) shows the typical pdf to be reasonably approximated by a single power-law with a low-s cutoff, i.e.
Stellar distances from spectroscopic observations: a new technique
MMDS 2010 followed on the heels of two previous MMDS workshops.
Computation in Large-Scale Scientific and Internet Data Applications is a Focus of MMDS 2010
Die planeet zou je dan, heel zwak, in het signaal moeten kunnen ‘zien’.
Radio Pulsars