Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The rounded posterior portion of the human foot under and behind the ankle.
  • n. The corresponding part of the hind foot of other vertebrates.
  • n. A similar anatomical part, such as the fleshy rounded base of the human palm or the hind toe of a bird.
  • n. The part, as of a sock, shoe, or stocking, that covers the rounded posterior portion of the human foot.
  • n. The built-up portion of a shoe or boot, supporting the heel.
  • n. One of the crusty ends of a loaf of bread.
  • n. The lower or rearward part, as:
  • n. The part of the head of a golf club where it joins the shaft.
  • n. The end of a violin bow where the handle is located.
  • n. Nautical The lower end of a mast.
  • n. Nautical The after end of a ship's keel.
  • n. Botany The basal end of a plant cutting or tuber used in propagation.
  • n. Oppression; tyranny: under the heel of Stalinism; the heel of an autocrat.
  • n. Informal A dishonorable man; a cad.
  • transitive v. To furnish with a heel or heels.
  • transitive v. To repair or replace the heels, as for shoes.
  • transitive v. Slang To furnish, especially with money.
  • transitive v. To arm (a gamecock) with gaffs.
  • transitive v. To press or strike with the heel: heel a horse.
  • intransitive v. To follow at one's heels: The dog won't heel.
  • idiom down at the heels Having one's shoe heels worn down.
  • idiom down at the heels Shabby; rundown; poor.
  • idiom lay by the heels To put in fetters or shackles; imprison.
  • idiom on Directly behind.
  • idiom on Immediately following.
  • idiom heel Having holes in one's socks or shoes.
  • idiom heel Rundown; shabby; seedy.
  • idiom take to (one's) heels To run away; flee.
  • idiom to heel Close behind: The hound followed his master to heel.
  • idiom to heel Under discipline or control: The army swiftly brought the rebels to heel.
  • transitive v. To tilt or cause to tilt to one side.
  • n. A tilt, as of a boat, to one side.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To incline to one side, to tilt (especially of ships).
  • n. The act of inclining or canting from a vertical position; a cant.
  • n. Part of the foot on the backside where it becomes the leg.
  • n. The part of a shoe's sole which supports the foot's heel.
  • n. On a long firearm, the back upper part of the stock.
  • n. The last or lowest part of anything; as, the heel of a mast or the heel of a vessel.
  • n. A crust end-piece of a loaf of bread.
  • n. The base of a bun sliced in half lengthwise.
  • n. A contemptible, inconsiderate or thoughtless person.
  • n. A wrestler whose on-ring persona embodies villainous or reprehensible traits. Contrast with babyface.
  • n. The tilt of a ship to one side; also, angle of heel, the degree of such a tilt.
  • v. To follow at somebody's heels; to chase closely.
  • v. To add a heel to, or increase the size of the heel of (a shoe or boot).
  • v. To kick with the heel.
  • v. To perform by the use of the heels, as in dancing, running, etc.
  • v. To arm with a gaff, as a cock for fighting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To lean or tip to one side, as a ship
  • n. The hinder part of the foot; sometimes, the whole foot; -- in man or quadrupeds.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The latter or remaining part of anything; the closing or concluding part.
  • n. Anything regarded as like a human heel in shape; a protuberance; a knob.
  • n. The part of a thing corresponding in position to the human heel; the lower part, or part on which a thing rests.
  • n. The after end of a ship's keel.
  • n. The lower end of a mast, a boom, the bowsprit, the sternpost, etc.
  • n. In a small arm, the corner of the but which is upwards in the firing position.
  • n. The uppermost part of the blade of a sword, next to the hilt.
  • n. The part of any tool next the tang or handle.
  • n. Management by the heel, especially the spurred heel.
  • n.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A cyma reversa; -- so called by workmen.
  • n. The part of the face of the club head nearest the shaft.
  • n. In a carding machine, the part of a flat nearest the cylinder.
  • transitive v. To perform by the use of the heels, as in dancing, running, and the like.
  • transitive v. To add a heel to.
  • transitive v. To arm with a gaff, as a cock for fighting.
  • transitive v. To hit (the ball) with the heel of the club.
  • transitive v. To make (a fair catch) standing with one foot advanced, the heel on the ground and the toe up.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The part of the foot which is below and behind the ankle.
  • n. 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. 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. A part of a thing resembling the heel in shape or position.
  • n. In odontography, a low posterior cusp of the sectorial molar tooth of a carnivorous animal.
  • n. In architecture, a cyma reversa.
  • n. The top of the butt of a gun-stock.
  • n. 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. 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. The foot, without reference to its parts; also, the hind foot of some animals, as of a horse.
  • n. The hinder and lower part of a shoe or stocking.
  • n. plural Footsteps; course.
  • n. To take to flight; start off: as, he picked up his heels and ran like a deer.
  • To perform by the use of the heels or feet, as a dance.
  • To furnish with a heel or heel-piece, as any foot-covering; put a heel to, as a shoe or stocking.
  • To catch by the heels.
  • To arm with a gaff or spur, as a cock.
  • To equip or arm. See heeled, 2.
  • In sporting, to come or walk behind one's heels: used of a dog, and chiefly in command.
  • To tilt, incline, or cant over from a vertical position, as a ship.
  • To pour out.
  • To turn partly over; come to a tilted position; cant: as, the ship heeled over.
  • n. The act of inclining or canting from a vertical position; a cant: as, the ship gave a heel to port. Also heeling.
  • n. An obsolete spelling of heal.
  • Same as heal, 3.
  • n.
  • In golf, to strike (a ball) on the heel of the club.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one of the crusty ends of a loaf of bread
  • n. the lower end of a ship's mast
  • n. (golf) the part of the clubhead where it joins the shaft
  • v. strike with the heel of the club
  • v. follow at the heels of a person
  • v. tilt to one side
  • n. the back part of the human foot
  • n. someone who is morally reprehensible
  • v. put a new heel on
  • n. the bottom of a shoe or boot; the back part of a shoe or boot that touches the ground and provides elevation
  • v. perform with the heels

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English hēla.
Alteration of Middle English helden, from Old English hieldan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration of earlier heeld, from Middle English heelden, from Old English hyldan, hieldan ("to incline"), cognate with Old Norse hella ("to pour out") ( > Danish hælde ("lean, pour")). More at hield. (Wiktionary)
Middle English hele, heel, from Old English hēla, from Proto-Germanic *hanhilaz (cf. Dutch hiel, Swedish häl), diminutive of Proto-Germanic *hanhaz (“hock”). More at hock. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • On stringed musical instruments, the attachment point between the neck and the body.

    November 15, 2007