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foot·pad 1

A thief who preys on pedestrians.

[foot + obsolete thieves' cant pad, highway, highwayman (from Dutch pad or Middle Low German pat, pad-, path, both from Germanic *patha-; see pent- in Indo-European roots).]

foot·pad 2

1. The cushionlike flesh on the underpart of the toes and feet of many animals.
2. A plate or similar structure on the leg of a spacecraft that distributes weight and helps prevent sinking after landing.


(Historical Terms) archaic a robber or highwayman, on foot rather than horseback



a highwayman or robber who goes on foot.
[1675–85; foot + pad2, in sense “highwayman”]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.footpad - a highwayman who robs on footfootpad - a highwayman who robs on foot  
highwayman, hijacker, road agent, highjacker - a holdup man who stops a vehicle and steals from it
References in classic literature ?
Don Fernando parted the officer and Don Quixote, and to their mutual contentment made them relax the grip by which they held, the one the coat collar, the other the throat of his adversary; for all this, however, the officers did not cease to demand their prisoner and call on them to help, and deliver him over bound into their power, as was required for the service of the King and of the Holy Brotherhood, on whose behalf they again demanded aid and assistance to effect the capture of this robber and footpad of the highways.
Come now; band, not of officers, but of thieves; footpads with the licence of the Holy Brotherhood; tell me who was the ignoramus who signed a warrant of arrest against such a knight as I am?
Far off, the lofty jet of the whale might be seen, and nearer at hand the prowling shark, that villainous footpad of the seas, would come skulking along, and, at a wary distance, regard us with his evil eye.
I tell you it is as true of these rich fools and rascals as it is true of every poor footpad and pickpocket; that only God knows how good they have tried to be.
As soon as we were out of doors, Egbert, with the manner of a little footpad, demanded a shilling of me on the ground that his pocket-money was "boned" from him.
For feeding a rascally footpad, locked up these six months in the little cell of the flayer, until it should be determined what to do with him, six livres, four sols.
She felt like one who had suffered the terror of the onslaught of a murderous footpad only to find out that it was an innocent pedestrian asking the time.
I stood up the Chief of Police," said the First Footpad, "and I got away with what he had.
And I," said the Second Footpad, "stood up the United States District Attorney, and got away with - "
Two Footpads sat at their grog in a roadside resort, comparing the evening's adventures.
The footpad hiding in a ditch had marked him passing like a ghost along its brink; the vagrant had met him on the dark high-road; the beggar had seen him pause upon the bridge to look down at the water, and then sweep on again; they who dealt in bodies with the surgeons could swear he slept in churchyards, and that they had beheld him glide away among the tombs on their approach.
First French import Footpad then American Tom and finally Stone Hard.