foothold

A foothold is a flat or steady area on which you can put your foot when you're climbing. Part of the trick to rock climbing is learning to find good footholds.

A literal foothold is wide enough for you to fit your foot and sturdy enough to hold your weight, and a figurative foothold gives you this same sense of security, usually setting you up to make progress. For example, your first published magazine piece can give you a foothold in the field of freelance writing. This sense of foothold dates from the mid-17th century, meaning "stable ground from which to act."

Definitions of foothold
1

n a place providing support for the foot in standing or climbing

Synonyms:
footing
Types:
toehold
a small foothold used in climbing
Type of:
support
any device that bears the weight of another thing

n an area in hostile territory that has been captured and is held awaiting further troops and supplies

“the only foothold left for British troops in Europe was Gibraltar”
Synonyms:
bridgehead
Types:
airhead
a bridgehead seized by airborne troops
beachhead
a bridgehead on the enemy's shoreline seized by an amphibious operation
Type of:
combat area, combat zone
a military area where combat forces operate

n an initial accomplishment that opens the way for further developments

“they are presently attempting to gain a foothold in the Russian market”
Synonyms:
beachhead
Type of:
accomplishment, achievement
the action of accomplishing something

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