Definition of toe in English:

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Pronunciation: /tō/


1Any of the five digits at the end of the human foot: he cut his big toe on a sharp stone
More example sentences
  • Though the toes of the human foot are generally not capable of independent or precise movement, the flexor muscles of the big toe are vital to our gait.
  • I type this having regained the feeling in my fingers, toes, trapezius, gluteus maximus and cerebral cortex.
  • A bunion occurs as a result of a deformity in the big toe known as hallux valgus, where hallux means the big toe and valgus means abnormal bending towards the other toes.
1.1Any of the digits of the foot of a quadruped or bird.
Example sentences
  • They have no eyelids, and all species have four fingers on each forelimb, five toes on each hind limb, and caudal fins.
  • Their feet are not syndactylous, and the first toe of their hind feet is partially opposable.
  • Therefore, we also drew a small sample of lymph from an incision made into the web between two toes of a hind foot.
1.2The part of an item of footwear that covers a person’s toes.
Example sentences
  • Cloth shoes do not provide this protection, nor does footwear with open toes and/or heels.
  • I especially love the pointy toes and kitten heels, giving it extra style and some height, making it distinctly feminine.
  • Her white woolen dress hung low, almost covering the toes of her own leather boots.
2The lower end, tip, or point of something, in particular.
Example sentences
  • Instead of just latching together via a single bar at the toe, these components make a second connection that stabilizes the ski.
  • The turned tapering legs with carved upper sections and brass toes and castors are again typical of the William IV or early Victorian period.
  • They wound up paddling through an ice maze on a lake at the toe of a glacier.
2.1The tip of the head of a golf club, furthest from the shaft.
Example sentences
  • Next, swing the club halfway down, keeping the toe up and the shaft parallel to the target line.
  • Notice that the toe, not the face, of the golf club points to the sky.
  • Once you're holding a club, you will get it pointing down the target line with the toe pointing up.
2.2The foot or base of a cliff, slope, or embankment.
Example sentences
  • At the toe of the slope a rock pediment can be found.
  • At the place where it sprang from the toe of the valley wall I crouched down to dip my fingers in the fresh water.
  • It was decided to ignore the protective gabion walls alongside the toe of the embankment for the purpose of the ranking.
2.3A flattish portion at the foot of an otherwise steep curve on a graph.
2.4A section of a rhizome or similar fleshy root from which a new plant may be propagated.

verb (toes, toeing, toed)

1 [with object] Push, touch, or kick (something) with one’s toe: he toed off his shoes and flexed his feet
More example sentences
  • He toed off his own shoes, setting them next to Tara's.
  • Out in the hall, Celia toed off her slides and fought to fit her light jacket in among the several already stuffed into the closet.
  • Chloe toed off her sneakers then looked around, scrutinizing the room before company arrived.
1.1 Golf Strike (the ball) with the toe of the club.
2 [no object] (toe in/out) Walk with the toes pointed in (or out): he toes out when he walks
2.1(Of a pair of wheels) converge (or diverge) slightly at the front: on a turn, the inner wheel toes out more
More example sentences
  • Whether the wheels are toed in or out, casters like this are prone to dynamic instability (wheel wobble) at higher speeds unless additional damping is provided.
  • The main wheels can be toed out allowing the aircraft to turn into the wind while the decklock harpoon remains engaged.
  • It has two test wheels (free running) toed in at 20 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the test vehicles.



make someone's toes curl

informal Bring about an extreme reaction in someone, either of pleasure or of disgust.
Example sentences
  • The following is a guide for all facets of giving a massage that will make his toes curl and bring him to much higher plain of ecstasy.
  • I try to avoid looking at the artwork because it makes my toes curl.
  • I love my country, but there are times when our perceived collective reserve makes my toes curl.

on one's toes

Ready for any eventuality; alert: he carries out random spot checks to keep everyone on their toes
More example sentences
  • If you have someone like that shouting all the time then it keeps everyone focused and on their toes.
  • Nevertheless, that's what makes bowling great - you've always got to be on your toes, be ready to make changes.
  • Instead, keep on your toes, and be ready to switch to a better deal every few years.

toe the line

Accept the authority, principles, or policies of a particular group, especially under pressure.
From the literal sense 'stand with the tips of the toes exactly touching a line'
Example sentences
  • Watson is still under intense pressure to resign after the revelation that he breached the strict rule of collective responsibility which forces members of the government to toe the line on policy.
  • These types are stumbling over themselves to conform and toe the line.
  • It is concerned with landing on the right theology and doctrine and making sure everyone else toes the line.
conform, obey the rules, observe the rules, comply with the rules, abide by the rules, follow the rules

toe to toe

(Of two people) standing directly in front of one another, especially in order to fight or argue.
Example sentences
  • It's sometimes about standing toe to toe and battling with people for a long period.
  • Where their predecessors in the ring had both comported themselves as if points were being awarded for artistic impression, these two stand toe to toe and flail at each other with apparently random fists, knees and elbows.
  • The final three minutes proved to be some of the best in an absorbing contest as the fighters stood toe to toe and exchanged some heavy punches that would have floored lesser men.



Pronunciation: /tōd/
[in combination]: three-toed feet


Example sentences
  • Talking of toes, it is even possible to buy toeless tights to wear with sandals and peep-toed shoes.
  • When the socks they came off the machines in the factory they were toeless.
  • Woman who say they wear the hose to make their skin tone appear more even can look toward topical self-tanning products or toeless pantyhose.


Old English , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tee and German Zeh, Zehe. Current senses of the verb date from the mid 19th century.

  • An Old English word recorded as early as ad 700. To toe the line, ‘to accept the authority or principles of a particular group’, derives from competitors placing their toes just touching the starting line at the beginning of a race. Vagrants without proper clothing have long used rags wrapped round their feet as socks. Since the mid 19th century such a piece of improvized footwear has been a toerag. The term transferred to the unfortunate wearer later in the century, and nowadays toerag is an insult for anyone considered worthless or contemptible.

Words that rhyme with toe

aglow, ago, alow, although, apropos, art nouveau, Bamako, Bardot, beau, Beaujolais Nouveau, below, bestow, blow, bo, Boileau, bons mots, Bordeaux, Bow, bravo, bro, cachepot, cheerio, Coe, crow, Defoe, de trop, doe, doh, dos-à-dos, do-si-do, dough, dzo, Flo, floe, flow, foe, foreknow, foreshow, forgo, Foucault, froe, glow, go, good-oh, go-slow, grow, gung-ho, Heathrow, heave-ho, heigh-ho, hello, ho, hoe, ho-ho, jo, Joe, kayo, know, lo, low, maillot, malapropos, Marceau, mho, Miró, mo, Mohs, Monroe, mot, mow, Munro, no, Noh, no-show, oh, oho, outgo, outgrow, owe, Perrault, pho, po, Poe, pro, quid pro quo, reshow, righto, roe, Rouault, row, Rowe, sew, shew, show, sloe, slow, snow, so, soh, sow, status quo, stow, Stowe, strow, tally-ho, though, throw, tic-tac-toe, to-and-fro, touch-and-go, tow, trow, undergo, undersow, voe, whacko, whoa, wo, woe, Xuzhou, yo, yo-ho-ho, Zhengzhou, Zhou

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: toe

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