a. A step with the foot.
b. The sound of a foot stepping. Also called footfall.
2. The distance covered by a step: a footstep away.
3. See footprint.
4. A step on which to go up or down.
follow in (someone's) footsteps
To carry on the behavior, work, or tradition of.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.