American English

Definition of heel noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    part of foot
  1. 1[countable] the back part of the foot below the ankle
  2. part of sock/shoe
  3. 2[countable] the part of a sock, etc. that covers the heel
  4. 3[countable] the raised part on the bottom of a shoe, boot, etc. that makes the shoe, etc. higher at the back shoes with a low/high heel a stiletto heel The sergeant clicked his heels and walked out. compare sole
  5. -heeled
  6. 4(in adjectives) having the type of heel mentioned high-heeled shoes see also well-heeled
  7. shoes
  8. 5heels [plural] a pair of women's shoes that have high heels She doesn't often wear heels.
  9. part of hand
  10. 6[countable] heel of your hand/palm the raised part of the inside of the hand where it joins the wrist
  11. unpleasant man
  12. 7[countable] (old-fashioned) (informal) a man who is unpleasant to other people and cannot be trusted see also Achilles heel, down at heel
  13. Idioms
    at/on somebody's heels
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    following closely behind someone He ran from the stadium with the police at his heels.
      bring somebody/something to heel
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    1. 1to force someone to obey you and accept discipline a non-violent means of bringing the rebels to heel
    2. 2to make a dog come close to you
      come to heel
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    1. 1(of a person) to agree to obey someone and accept their orders
    2. 2(of a dog) to come close to the person who has called it
    cool your heels (informal)
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    to have to wait for someone or something
    dig your heels/toes in
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    to refuse to do something or to change your mind about something They dug in their heels and would not lower the price.
    drag your feet/heels
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    to be deliberately slow in doing something or in making a decision
    head over heels in love
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    loving someone very much He's fallen head over heels in love with his boss.
    kick up your heels (informal)
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    to be relaxed and enjoy yourself
    (close/hard/hot) on somebody's/something's heels
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    very close behind someone or something; very soon after something News of rising unemployment followed hard on the heels of falling export figures. He ran ahead, with the others hot on his heels
    take to your heels (old-fashioned or formal)
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    to run away from someone or something
    turn/spin on your heel
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    to turn around suddenly so that you are facing in the opposite direction
    under the heel of somebody (literary)
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    completely controlled by someone The island spent several centuries under the heel of the Spanish Empire.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: heel