toehold

A toehold is a sturdy spot where you can put your foot, especially when you're climbing. If you don't find a safe toehold, you'll never manage to get over that fence to get your baseball back.

A literal toehold is an area where at least part of your foot can fit and that's strong enough to hold your weight. A figurative toehold is a tiny advance that gives you a small start toward progress. Getting an internship at a publishing company will give you a toehold in the industry. The literal definition, "support for the toe of a boot in climbing," dates from the late nineteenth century.

Primary Meanings of toehold

1.
n
a relatively insignificant position from which future progress might be made
2.
n
a wrestling hold in which the toe is held and the leg is twisted against the joints
Full Definitions of toehold
1

n a relatively insignificant position from which future progress might be made

“American diplomacy provided a toehold on which to proceed toward peace talks”
“his father gave him a toehold in the oil business”
Type of:
position, status
the relative position or standing of things or especially persons in a society

n a small foothold used in climbing

Type of:
foothold, footing
a place providing support for the foot in standing or climbing
2

n a wrestling hold in which the toe is held and the leg is twisted against the joints

Type of:
wrestling hold
a hold used in the sport of wrestling

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