Meaning of HEEL in English


I. ˈhēl, especially before pause or consonant -ēəl noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English hele, heel, from Old English hēla; akin to Old Frisian hêl heel, Old Norse hæll; diminutives from the stem of Old English hōh heel, hock — more at hock


a. : the hind part of the foot of a human being below the ankle and behind the arch — opposed to toe

b. : the part of the hind limb of other vertebrates that is homologous with the human heel either occupying a similar situation (as in raccoons, bears, and other plantigrade animals) or relatively much raised above the ground (as in cows, horses, and other digitigrade animals) : hock

2. : an anatomical structure suggestive of or associated with the hind part of the foot of a human being: as

a. : the hind part of a hoof

b. : the hind toe of a bird

c. : the spur of a cock

d. : either of the projections of a coffin bone

e. : the part of the palm of the hand nearest the wrist

rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands — Warren Eyster

3. : the foot as a symbol or instrument of violence or oppression

even my bosom friend … has lifted his heel against me — Ps 41:9 (Revised Standard Version)

under the heel of a dictator


a. : one of the crusty ends of a loaf of bread

b. : one of the rind ends of a cheese


a. : the part of a shoe, boot, or slipper or of a sock or stocking that covers the heel of the human foot

b. : a solid part of a shoe or boot projecting downward and attached to or forming the back part of the sole under the heel of the foot — see shoe illustration


a. : a latter or concluding part (as of a period of time)

in the dismal heel of … winter — Hamilton Basso

b. : remainder , residue

went to the nearest bottle of scotch and drained the heel of it into his glass — Harry Sylvester

specifically : unburned and partially burned tobacco caked in the bowl of a pipe

he knocked the heel of his pipe of tobacco out on the palm of his hand — Seumas O'Kelly

7. : a rear, low, or bottom part: as

a. : the after end of a ship's keel or the lower end of a mast

b. : the rear part of a plowshare

c. : the nut end of the bow of a musical instrument

d. : the part of a tool next to the tang or handle

e. : the crook of the head of a golf club where it joins the shaft — see golf illustration

f. : the base of a tuber or cutting or other part of a plant used for propagation of the plant

g. : the part of the rear extremity of a gun butt that is uppermost when the gun is held in firing position against the shoulder

h. : the rear end of a railroad frog

i. : a V-shaped piece of beef from the lower part of the round — called also heel-of-round ; see beef illustration

j. : the base part of a ladder

k. : the lower end of a timber in a frame (as a post)

l. : the obtuse angle of the lower end of a rafter set sloping

8. : a contemptible self-centered untrustworthy person : an altogether despicable individual ; especially : a cheap double crosser

a few heels who appear to get away with it, but time eventually catches up with them — Frank Case


[ heel (II) ]

: the act of heeling a ball in the game of rugby

- at heel

- by the heels

- down at heel

- on one's heels

- on the heels of

- to heel

- under heel

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb


a. : to furnish (as a shoe) with a heel


(1) : to fit (a gamecock) with a metal spur

(2) : to arm (oneself) usually with a gun

wouldn't go through that territory without first heeling himself


(1) : to supply or provide especially with money or information

a well- heeled customer

better heeled but still not flush

I want to be heeled when they book him — R.P.Warren

(2) : to work for (a school newspaper or magazine) especially as a reporter

heeled the college paper — Time

2. : to rope (as a steer) by the hind feet


a. : to follow closely after : follow at the heels of

heeled them all the way up the ramp

b. of a dog : to urge (a lagging animal) onward by running after and nipping at the heels

dogs heeled the cattle and kept them on the move


a. : to exert pressure on with the heel: as

(1) : to prod with the heel

heeled his horse — A.B.Guthrie

(2) : to crush with the heel

heeled his cigarette out carefully — W.V.T.Clark

b. : to kick with the heel ; specifically : to pass (the ball) backward with the heel (as out of a scrum) in the game of rugby

5. : to strike (a golf ball) with the heel of the club

intransitive verb

1. : to move the heels rhythmically (as in dancing)

2. : to move along at the heels of someone ; specifically of a dog : to keep to heel

a dog that heels well

3. : to move along rapidly : run

heeled out of there as quick as he could

4. : to heel a ball (as in the game of rugby)

5. : to work for a school newspaper or magazine especially as a reporter

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: alteration (probably influenced by heel (I) and heel ) (II) of earlier heeld, hield, from Middle English helden, heelden, hielden, from Old English hieldan, heldan, hyldan; akin to Old English heald inclined, Old High German hald inclined, helden to bow, Old Norse hallr inclined, hella to pour out, Gothic hulths inclination, favor, grace, Lithuanian šalis side, region

intransitive verb

: to tilt to one side : tip , lean , cant , list

the sleigh was on one runner, heeling like a yacht in a gale — Hamlin Garland

— used especially of a boat

in such a strong wind the sailboat kept heeling to the left

and sometimes with over

the subchaser heeled over — C.F.Mitchell

transitive verb

: to cause (as a boat) to tilt : cause to list

heeling the sloop well over and skimming her along to windward — K.M.Dodson

IV. noun

( -s )

1. : a tilt (as of a boat) to one side : list

2. : the extent of a tilt (as a boat)

a heel of six degrees to starboard

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.