Definition of flat-footed in English:

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1Having flat feet: a flat-footed, overweight cop
More example sentences
  • It feels as if all the ligaments in my body are going to snap at any moment and my feet are so flat-footed it's like walking on glass.
  • But while the defender stood flat-footed, the striker followed the flight of the ball, attempted to take it under control and, in fluffing his first touch, shinned it into the net.
  • There is no trace left in the whole of London of the old, flat-footed waiters whose eyes were all over the place and who did their job so brilliantly that a pleasant symbiosis developed between them and the guests.
2.1 informal Unable to move quickly and smoothly; clumsy: getting caught in flat-footed ignorance can be uncomfortable
More example sentences
  • He has the ability to stop and start quickly, leaving defenders flat-footed with his change-of-direction speed.
  • They were caught flat-footed, but they quickly assembled for the fight at hand.
  • They left the Japanese defence looking awkward and flat-footed.
2.2 informal Not clever or imaginative; uninspired: he has little space for anecdote, but the text is no flat-footed catalog


catch someone flat-footed

informal Take someone by surprise: the rise of regional conflicts has caught military planners flat-footed



Example sentences
  • Suddenly, as we shuffled flat-footedly around the candle, the spell was broken by a woman who barged in with a bawling infant on her hip.
  • The question to ask is not, flat-footedly, which conception of justification gets the nature of justification right, but what we gain by thinking of justification in one way rather than another.


Example sentences
  • But long straight stretches still felt like flying, and taking off the skates still brought that old sensation of disappointment and flat-footedness.
  • But the more complex sense she leaves probably derives less from her strength or arrogance than from her flat-footedness - her interpersonal naïveté or incompetence.
  • Interestingly, while a sign of atavism, flat-footedness was also considered a result of ‘modern’, urban living and its unhealthy and disabling influences.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: flat-foot·ed

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