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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 (shŏd′n), shoe·ing, shoes
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.]


  • pumps - The shoes are so named for the sound they make.
  • revamp - Originally referred to shoes—vamp being the covering of the instep.
  • Brannock device - The device used to measure feet for shoes.
  • be down on your uppers - To be down on your uppers (referring to shoes) is to be scuffing along, in poor circumstances.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend: - a particular situation; "If you were in my place what would you do?"
situation, position - a condition or position in which you find yourself; "the unpleasant situation (or position) of having to choose between two evils"; "found herself in a very fortunate situation"
References in classic literature ?
A nail in one of my front shoes had started as I came along, but the hostler did not notice it till just about four o'clock.
The uses of every possession are two, both dependent upon the thing itself, but not in the same manner, the one supposing an inseparable connection with it, the other not; as a shoe, for instance, which may be either worn, or exchanged for something else, both these are the uses of the shoe; for he who exchanges a shoe with some man who wants one, for money or provisions, uses the shoe as a shoe, but not according to the original intention, for shoes were not at first made to be exchanged.
I asked leave to teach myself, and I got it with much difficulty after a long while, and I have made shoes ever since.
While the conversation turned on this subject, and was only for a moment interrupted by the arrival of a journal that contained nothing worth reading, we will just step out into the antechamber, where cloaks, mackintoshes, sticks, umbrellas, and shoes, were deposited.
He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.
There, indeed, just under the corner of the great beam the house rested on, two feet were sticking out, shod in silver shoes with pointed toes.
Then, at twilight, came John Carlson, who demanded Wickson's shoes.
They slept in twelve beds all in one room; and when they went to bed, the doors were shut and locked up; but every morning their shoes were found to be quite worn through as if they had been danced in all night; and yet nobody could find out how it happened, or where they had been.
I am not to see, forsooth, that no man does me an injury, or breaks into my home--I am not to take care that all shall go well with me, or that I have clothes to wear, or that my shoes do not require mending, or that I be given work to do, or that I possess sufficient meat and drink?
Daughtry found that he already understood and obeyed simple things such as "no," "yes," "get up," and "lie down," and he improved on them, teaching him, "Go into the bunk and lie down," "Go under the bunk," "Bring one shoe," "Bring two shoes.
Here, clean these shoes for number seventeen directly, and take 'em to private sitting-room, number five, first floor.
I do not believe that there is anything sweeter in the world than the ideas which awake in a mother's heart at the sight of her child's tiny shoe; especially if it is a shoe for festivals, for Sunday, for baptism, the shoe embroidered to the very sole, a shoe in which the infant has not yet taken a step.