WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
heel1 /hil/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Anatomythe back part of the foot in humans, below and behind the ankle.
  2. Clothingthe part of a stocking, shoe, etc., covering this part of the foot.
  3. Clothinga solid raised base attached to the sole of a shoe under the back part of the foot:rubber heels.
  4. Clothingheels, [plural] high-heeled shoes.
  5. the end part of a loaf of bread.
  6. Anatomythe rear of the palm of the hand, next to the wrist.
  7. control;
    subjugation:under the heel of the dictator.

  1. to furnish or provide with heels:[+ object]The shoemaker heeled the shoes.
  2. Dog and Cat Breeds[no object] (of a dog) to follow at one's heels on command.
  1. Idiomsat one's heels, close behind one:The dogs were snapping at my heels, but I managed to get away.
  2. Idiomscool one's heels, to wait or be kept waiting, esp. because of disdain or discourtesy:I had to cool my heels until the boss found time to see me.
  3. Idiomsdown at (the) heel(s), dressed shabbily.
  4. Idiomskick up one's heels, to have an unusually lively, entertaining time.
  5. Idiomson or upon the heels of, closely following:The police were hot on the heels of the criminals.
  6. Idiomstake to one's heels, [no object] to run away;
    take flight.
  7. Idiomsturn on one's heel, to turn about suddenly, as in anger:turned on her heel and stormed out of the room.

heel•less, adj. 

heel2 /hil/USA pronunciation   v. [no obj]
  1. Nautical, Naval Terms(esp. of a ship) to lean or incline to one side;
    tilt:The torpedoed frigate was heeling to starboard.
  2. Nautical, Naval Termsa heeling movement;

heel3 /hil/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a dishonorable, dishonest, or contemptible person.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
heel1  (hēl),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Anatomythe back part of the human foot, below and behind the ankle.
  2. Zoologyan analogous part in other vertebrates.
  3. Zoologyeither hind foot or hoof of some animals, as the horse.
  4. Anatomythe foot as a whole:He was hung by the heels.
  5. Clothingthe part of a stocking, shoe, or the like covering the back part of the wearer's foot.
  6. Clothinga solid, raised base or support of leather, wood, rubber, etc., attached to the sole of a shoe or boot under the back part of the foot.
  7. Clothingheels, high-heeled shoes.
  8. something resembling the back part of the human foot in position, shape, etc.:a heel of bread.
  9. Anatomythe rear of the palm, adjacent to the wrist.
  10. the latter or concluding part of anything:the heel of a session.
  11. the lower end of any of various more or less vertical objects, as rafters, spars, or the sternposts of vessels.
  12. Nautical, Naval Terms
    • the after end of a keel.
    • the inner end of a bowsprit or jib boom.
  13. Sportthe crook in the head of a golf club.
  14. Buildingthe exterior angle of an angle iron.
  15. Rail Transportthe end of a frog farthest from a switch.
  16. Botany[Hort.]the base of any part, as of a cutting or tuber, that is removed from a plant for use in the propagation of that plant.
  17. Idiomsat one's heels, close behind one:The police are at his heels.Also,  at heel. 
  18. Idiomscool one's heels, to be kept waiting, esp. because of deliberate discourtesy:The producer let the actors who were waiting to be auditioned cool their heels in the outer office.
  19. Idiomsdown at the heels, having a shabby, slipshod, or slovenly appearance. Also,  down at heel, down at the heel, out at heels, out at the heels. 
  20. Gameshis heels, [Cribbage.]a jack turned up as a starter, counting two points for the dealer.
  21. Idiomskick up one's heels, to have a vigorously entertaining time;
    frolic:Grandfather could still kick up his heels now and then.
  22. Idiomslay by the heels: 
    • to arrest and imprison.
    • to prevail over;
      render ineffectual:Superior forces laid the invaders by the heels.
  23. Idiomson or  upon the heels of, closely following;
    in quick succession of:On the heels of the hurricane came an outbreak of looting.
  24. Idiomsshow a clean pair of heels, to leave one's pursuers or competitors behind;
    outrun:The thief showed his victim a clean pair of heels.Also,  show one's heels to. 
  25. Idiomstake to one's heels, to run away;
    take flight:The thief took to his heels as soon as he saw the police.
  26. Idiomsto heel: 
    • close behind:The dog followed the hunter to heel.
    • under control or subjugation:The attackers were brought swiftly to heel.

  1. to follow at the heels of;
    chase closely.
  2. to furnish with heels, as shoes.
  3. Music and Danceto perform (a dance) with the heels.
  4. Sport[Golf.]to strike (the ball) with the heel of the club.
  5. Sportto arm (a gamecock) with spurs.

  1. (of a dog) to follow at one's heels on command.
  2. to use the heels, as in dancing.
  3. Botanyheel in, to cover temporarily (the roots and most of the stem of a plant) with soil prior to permanent planting.
heelless, adj. 
  • bef. 850; Middle English; Old English hēl(a); cognate with Dutch hiel, Old Norse hǣll. See hock1

heel2  (hēl),USA pronunciation v.i. 
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsto incline to one side;
    tilt:The ship heeled in going about.

  1. Nautical, Naval Termsto cause to lean or cant.

  1. Nautical, Naval Termsa heeling movement;
    a cant.
  • 1565–75; variant of earlier heeld, Middle English helden, Old English hieldan to lean, slope; akin to Old English heald, Old Norse hallr sloping

heel3  (hēl),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a contemptibly dishonorable or irresponsible person:We all feel like heels for ducking out on you like this.
  • perh. a euphemistic shortening of shit-heel 1910–15, American.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

heel /hiːl/ n
  1. the back part of the human foot from the instep to the lower part of the ankle
  2. the corresponding part in other vertebrates
  3. the part of a shoe, stocking, etc, designed to fit the heel
  4. the outer part of a shoe underneath the heel
  5. the lower, end, or back section of something: the heel of a loaf
  6. the small part of the parent plant that remains attached to a young shoot cut for propagation and that ensures more successful rooting
  7. the back part of a golf club head where it bends to join the shaft
  8. slang a contemptible person
  9. at one's heels, on one's heelsjust behind or following closely
  10. down at heelshabby or worn
  11. slovenly or careless
  12. kick one's heels, cool one's heelsto wait or be kept waiting
  13. take to one's heelsto run off
  14. to heeldisciplined or under control, as a dog walking by a person's heel
  1. (transitive) to repair or replace the heel of (shoes, boots, etc)
  2. (transitive) to strike (the ball) with the heel of the club
  3. to follow at the heels of (a person)
Etymology: Old English hēla; related to Old Norse hǣll, Old Frisian hêl

ˈheelless adj
heel /hiːl/ vb
  1. (of a vessel) to lean over; list
  1. inclined position from the vertical: the boat is at ten degrees of heel
Etymology: Old English hieldan; related to Old Norse hallr inclined, Old High German helden to bow

'heel' also found in these entries:

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