1. A durable covering for the human foot, made of leather or similar material with a rigid sole and heel, usually extending no higher than the ankle.
2. A horseshoe.
3. A part or device that is located at the base of something or that functions as a protective covering, as:
a. A strip of metal fitted onto the bottom of a sled runner.
b. The base for the supports of the superstructure of a bridge.
c. The ferrule on the end of a cane.
d. The casing of a pneumatic tire.
4. A device that retards or stops the motion of an object, as the part of a brake that presses against the wheel or drum.
5. The sliding contact plate on an electric train or streetcar that conducts electricity from the third rail.
6. A chute, as for conveying grain from a hopper.
7. Games A case from which playing cards are dealt one at a time.
8. shoes Informal
a. Position; status: You would understand my decision if you put yourself in my shoes.
b. Plight: I wouldn't want to be in her shoes.
tr.v. shod (shŏd), shod or shod·den (shŏdn), shoe·ing, shoesIdioms:
1. To furnish or fit with a shoe or shoes.
2. To cover with a wooden or metal guard to protect against wear.
the shoe is on the other foot Informal
The circumstances have been reversed; an unequal relationship has been inverted.
wait for the other shoe to drop Slang
To defer action or decision until another matter is finished or resolved.
[Middle English, from Old English scōh.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.