Meaning of heel


Pronunciation: (hēl), [key]
— n.
  1. the back part of the human foot, below and behind the ankle.
  2. an analogous part in other vertebrates.
  3. either hind foot or hoof of some animals, as the horse.
  4. the foot as a whole: He was hung by the heels.
  5. the part of a stocking, shoe, or the like covering the back part of the wearer's foot.
  6. a solid, raised base or support of leather, wood, rubber, etc., attached to the sole of a shoe or boot under the back part of the foot.
  7. high-heeled shoes.
  8. something resembling the back part of the human foot in position, shape, etc.: a heel of bread.
  9. the rear of the palm, adjacent to the wrist.
  10. the latter or concluding part of anything: the heel of a session.
  11. the lower end of any of various more or less vertical objects, as rafters, spars, or the sternposts of vessels.
    1. the after end of a keel.
    2. the inner end of a bowsprit or jib boom.
  12. the crook in the head of a golf club.
  13. the exterior angle of an angle iron.
  14. the end of a frog farthest from a switch.
  15. the base of any part, as of a cutting or tuber, that is removed from a plant for use in the propagation of that plant.
  16. close behind one: The police are at his heels.
  17. to be kept waiting, esp. because of deliberate discourtesy: The producer let the actors who were waiting to be auditioned cool their heels in the outer office.
  18. having a shabby, slipshod, or slovenly appearance.
  19. a jack turned up as a starter, counting two points for the dealer.
  20. to have a vigorously entertaining time; frolic: Grandfather could still kick up his heels now and then.
  21. Superior forces laid the invaders by the heels.
    1. to arrest and imprison.
    2. to prevail over; render ineffectual:Superior forces laid the invaders by the heels.
  22. closely following; in quick succession of: On the heels of the hurricane came an outbreak of looting.
  23. to leave one's pursuers or competitors behind; outrun: The thief showed his victim a clean pair of heels.
  24. to run away; take flight: The thief took to his heels as soon as he saw the police.
  25. The dog followed the hunter to heel.
    1. close behind:The dog followed the hunter to heel.
    2. under control or subjugation:The attackers were brought swiftly to heel.
  1. to follow at the heels of; chase closely.
  2. to furnish with heels, as shoes.
  3. to perform (a dance) with the heels.
  4. to strike (the ball) with the heel of the club.
  5. to arm (a gamecock) with spurs.
  1. (of a dog) to follow at one's heels on command.
  2. to use the heels, as in dancing.
  3. to cover temporarily (the roots and most of the stem of a plant) with soil prior to permanent planting.


Pronunciation: (hēl), [key]
— v.i.
  1. to incline to one side; cant; tilt: The ship heeled in going about.
  1. to cause to lean or cant.
  1. a heeling movement; a cant.


Pronunciation: (hēl), [key]
— n.
  1. a contemptibly dishonorable or irresponsible person: We all feel like heels for ducking out on you like this.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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