Definition of shoe in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ʃuː/


1A covering for the foot, typically made of leather, having a sturdy sole and not reaching above the ankle.
Example sentences
  • He wore black tennis shoes with dull white laces, baggy blue slacks and a white long sleeved shirt.
  • Anyone wearing high-heeled shoes would find herself punching holes in the floorboard.
  • But even with the assistance of modern machinery and materials, most pointe shoes are still entirely handmade.
1.1A horseshoe.
Example sentences
  • First remove any horseshoe nails and clean the shoe with a stiff brush and water to remove packed in-dirt.
  • The field was reduced to six when Rapid Ryan was ordered scratched by the stewards in the paddock because he was wearing improper shoes.
  • There is a moment of anxiety as Hills dismounts immediately after the line but it transpires that the filly has just twisted a shoe.
2Something resembling a shoe in shape or use, in particular:
2.1A drag for a wheel.
Example sentences
  • And the advantage to a pivoting shoe is it allows you to more easily work on undulating, round or contour surfaces.
  • Drag shoes under the wheels helped to lock them.
  • The recoil system was not efficient and drag shoes had to be used under the wheels to keep the carriage steady in action.
2.2 short for brake shoe.
Example sentences
  • If your trailer is equipped with electric brakes, check the drums and shoes for wear and the brake magnet for condition.
  • But, when you're in four bad crashes, two wheel changes and a broken shoe, it made it one of the hardest one-day races of my life.
  • The shoes in drum brakes are subject to wear and the brakes needed to be adjusted regularly until the introduction of self adjusting drum brakes in the 1950s.
2.3A socket, especially on a camera, for fitting a flash unit or other accessory: an accessory shoe
More example sentences
  • I am looking for an off camera flash shoe cord.
  • The above is a normal flash shoe with forward pressure being applied to the flash.
  • To get your flash far away from your camera lens, you need to purchase an external flash, and you need a camera with a hot shoe.
2.4A metal rim or ferrule, especially on the runner of a sledge.
Example sentences
  • A close-fitting metal shoe with a central opening of 12.7 mm diameter flattened the section against the ceramic plate of the transducer.
  • The protector block controller shoe is a metal shoe with a handle and a crossbar placed at a comfortable position in front of the operator's foot with the handle above and the crossbar below.
  • Modern sled runners are covered with removable plastic runner shoes which can be changed for different conditions, or when worn.
2.5A step for a mast.
Example sentences
  • As the mast rises into the suspension shoe, it locates and supports itself from the suspension shoe, subsequently allowing the climbing brackets to climb up the mast.
  • Using the back edge of the mast shoe as your guide check to see the string between the shrouds and aft edge of the mast shoe are parallel.
  • He uses an elaborate mast step bridge which elevates the mast shoe so the mast base is never in the bilge water.
2.6A box from which cards are dealt in casinos at baccarat or some other card games.
Example sentences
  • The odds constantly shift as cards are dealt out of the shoe.
  • So I shuffled up my six-deck shoe and dealt to four players plus the dealer for several hours.
  • The game is dealt from an eight-deck shoe (sometimes six decks will be used).

verb (shoes, shoeing; past and past participle shod /ʃɒd/)

1 [with object] Fit (a horse) with a shoe or shoes: they are waiting to have their horses shod
More example sentences
  • If you have a lot of rocks in your pasture and/or you ride your horse often in a rocky area; you may need to shoe your horse.
  • A blacksmith with an ancestor who shod the horses that took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade is hoping for a grandson - to keep the 170-year-old family firm going for future generations.
  • She approached two men, who were shoeing a horse.
1.1 (be shod) Be wearing shoes of a specified kind: his large feet were shod in trainers
More example sentences
  • Her feet were shod with black dress shoes that were slightly scuffed as if it had been walking.
  • Like her he was dressed in the coarsest of undyed wool, rough with fringe at the edges, and was shod in shoes made from deer hide or pig hide, with the hair still upon it.
  • Now at ease by the fireside, his feet are shod in narrow velvet slippers with a monogram embroidered in gold thread.
2Protect (the end of an object such as a pole) with a metal shoe: the four wooden baulks were each shod with heavy iron heads
More example sentences
  • At regular intervals along the counter were great upright wooden stampers shod with iron at the bottom.
  • The door was stout oak shod with iron and locked with three thick iron bolts into the door frame.
2.1Fit a tyre to (a wheel): its 14-inch wheels were shod with 175/65 tyres
More example sentences
  • Alloy and steel wheels are newly-styled and shod with 15 inch tyres which result in improved ride characteristics.
  • Sixteen inch alloy wheels shod with very generous 195/45 tyres are another bonus.
  • The only giveaways, apart from the badges, were slightly flared wheel arches, wide alloy wheels shod with special high-grip radial tyres and a single large-bore exhaust pipe.



be (or put oneself) in another person's shoes

Be (or put oneself) in another person’s situation or predicament: if I’d been in your shoes I’d have walked out on him
More example sentences
  • Yes, I know that sounds strange and mildly racist, but until you've been in my shoes for that situation, you just don't know.
  • If you put yourself in my shoes for a moment, you will understand my situation.
  • I can't say I've been in your shoes, or know anybody in quite the same situation.

dead men's shoes

Property or a position coveted by a prospective successor but available only on a person’s death: he had fallen into an estate by a series of dead men’s shoes
More example sentences
  • The method for promotion is very much dead men's shoes.
  • But I'm kind of trapped by a glass ceiling and the only way up is to fill dead men's shoes.
  • Promotion by seniority, waiting for dead men's shoes, is a sad blow to efficiency, for it stifles initiative and offers no incentive.

if the shoe fits, wear it

North American see if the cap fits, wear it (at cap1).
Example sentences
  • If the shoe fits, wear it, I guess.
  • It kills me to write things like that, but if the shoe fits, wear it.
  • "Yup, if the shoe fits, wear it, Granny O'Neill used to say and right now, that shoe fits pretty damn well."

shoe leather

Pronunciation: /ˈʃuː ˌlɛðə/
informal Used in reference to the wear on shoes through walking: you can save on shoe leather by giving us your instructions over the telephone
More example sentences
  • I always go with the team that's been hitting the pavement, working the asphalt, wearing out the shoe leather - the Street Smarts guys who know how to sell!
  • In pure democratic fashion, members of the group will be wearing out shoe leather delivering information directly to Calgarians to gain support for ending fluoridation.
  • Today, when the footstreets have been worn down with shoe leather for almost exactly 15 years, it is hard to recall how radical this proposal must have seemed.

wait for the other shoe to drop

North American informal Be prepared for a further or consequential event or complication to occur.
Example sentences
  • But part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop.
  • And it's getting on my nerves, because it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
  • Rather than thanking him for the compliment, I only nod, waiting for the other shoe to drop.



Pronunciation: /ˈʃuːləs/
Example sentences
  • Their rooms are called cells, they eat very little, and agree to vows of poverty symbolized by the simple sandals they wear; for, technically, Carmelites are shoeless or discalaced.
  • I was never a junkie, I was never shoeless and selling my mom's car to a Gypsy.
  • The narrator's mother, who insists that she attend the School of Music and Ballet and forbids her to play with the shoeless neighbor children, is English.


Old English scōh (noun), scōg(e)an (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schoen and German Schuh.

Words that rhyme with shoe

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shoe

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.