AskDefine | Define heel

Dictionary Definition



1 the bottom of a shoe or boot; the back part of a shoe or boot that touches the ground
2 the back part of the human foot
3 someone who is morally reprehensible; "you dirty dog" [syn: cad, bounder, blackguard, dog, hound]
4 one of the crusty ends of a loaf of bread
5 the lower end of a ship's mast
6 (golf) the part of the clubhead where it joins the shaft
7 the piece of leather that fits the heel [syn: counter]


1 tilt to one side; "The balloon heeled over"; "the wind made the vessel heel"; "The ship listed to starboard" [syn: list]
2 follow at the heels of a person
3 perform with the heels; "heel that dance"
4 strike with the heel of the club; "heel a golf ball"
5 put a new heel on; "heel shoes" [syn: reheel]

User Contributed Dictionary




Etymology 1

hela, from Proto-Germanic *hāhil. Cognate with Dutch hiel, Swedish häl, Icelandic hæll. Compare hock.


  1. Part of the foot on the backside where it becomes the leg.
  2. The part of a shoe's sole which supports the foot's heel.
  3. On a long firearm, the back upper part of the stock.
  4. The last or lowest part of anything; as, the heel of a mast or the heel of a vessel.
  5. A crust end-piece of a loaf of bread.
  6. A contemptible, inconsiderate or thoughtless person.
  7. The tilt of a ship to one side; also, the degree of such a tilt.
(anatomy) part of the foot
part of shoe
on a long firearm
  • Italian: poggiaguancia
end-piece of a loaf of bread


  1. To follow at somebody's heels; to chase closely.

Etymology 2

From Old English hyldan ("incline").


  1. To incline to one side, to tilt (especially of ships).
* Dutch: hellen, slagzij maken (of a ship)



  • /he:l/


  1. complete, full, whole





  1. Form of first person singular present tense, helen
  2. Form of imperative, helen

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

The heel is the prominence at the posterior end of the foot. It is based on the projection of one bone, the calcaneus, behind the articulation of the bones of the lower leg. In the long-footed mammals, both the hoofed species (unguligrade) and the clawed forms which walk on the toes (digitigrade), the heel is well above the ground at the apex of the angular joint known as the hock. In plantigrade species it rests on the ground.
heel in Aymara: Kayu wintu
heel in German: Ferse
heel in Spanish: Talón
heel in French: Talon (anatomie)
heel in Korean: 뒤꿈치
heel in Italian: Tallone (anatomia)
heel in Dutch: Hiel
heel in Newari: हील
heel in Japanese: 踵
heel in Portuguese: Calcanhar
heel in Finnish: Kantapää
heel in Swedish: Häl
heel in Tagalog: Sakong
heel in Turkish: Topuk

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

SOB, accouter, afterpart, afterpiece, appoint, arch, arm, back, back door, back seat, back side, balance, bastard, bear off, bedog, behind, bend, blackguard, bounder, branch off, breech, broke, bugger, cad, cant, careen, change the bearing, chase, clubfoot, come about, come after, come behind, counter, creep, crust, curve, depart from, destitute, detour, deviate, digit, digress, divagate, divaricate, diverge, dog, dowdy, dress, end, equip, escape, extremity, fantail, fart, fetch about, fetlock, fit, fit out, fit up, flee, fly the coop, follow, foot, forefoot, forepaw, furnish, gear, go about, go after, go behind, harefoot, hind end, hind part, hindhead, hood, hoof, hooligan, hound, impoverished, in straitened circumstances, incline, instep, jerk, knave, lay down, lean, lean over, leavings, lie along, list, louse, lowlife, man, meanie, miscreant, mother, move behind, munition, occiput, out at elbows, outfit, pad, pastern, patte, paw, pedal extremity, pedes, pes, philanderer, pied, pill, pivot, pivot about, poop, poor, posterior, postern, prepare, pug, pursue, put about, rascal, rat, rear, rear end, rearward, recline, remainder, remains, remnant, residual, residue, residuum, rest, reverse, rig, rig out, rig up, rind, rogue, rotter, round, rudderpost, run away, run off, run-down, scamp, scoundrel, seedy, shabby, shadow, sheer, shift, shit, shithead, shitheel, slope, slovenly, sod, sole, spin, splayfoot, split, staff, stern, stinkard, stinker, strapped, string along, stump, swerve, swine, swing, swing round, swivel, tack, tag, tag after, tag along, tail, tail end, tailgate, tailpiece, take flight, tilt, tip, toe, tootsy, trail, trail after, tread close upon, trend, trotter, turd, turn, turn about, turn around, turn aside, turn out, turn round, turn tail, ungula, vary, veer, veer around, wheel, wheel about, whirl, worm
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