Definition of toe noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//təʊ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//toʊ//
    Body parts
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  1. 1   one of the five small parts that stick out from the foot the big/little toe (= the largest/smallest toe) I stubbed my toe on the step. Can you touch your toes? (= by bending over while keeping your legs straight) See related entries: Body parts
  2. 2   the part of a sock, shoe, etc. that covers the toes He kicked the earth with the toe of his boot.
  3. 3-toed (in adjectives) having the type or number of toes mentioned open-toed sandals a three-toed sloth see also pigeon-toed
  4. Word OriginOld English , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tee and German Zeh, Zehe. Current senses of the verb date from the mid 19th cent.Extra examples He gave himself a good scrub from head to toe. He had some kind of fungus between his toes. He moved lightly on his toes like a boxer. I dipped my toe in the river to test the temperature. I stood on the tips of my toes to look through the window. Ouch! That was my toe you just trod on. She stood on her toes to kiss him. She tapped her toes to the music. She trod on a lot of toes when she joined the company. So far they have only dipped their toe in the potentially vast computer market. The man’s broad smile made her toes curl. The shoe pressed painfully against her big toe. The threat of inspections kept us all on our toes. Under his bare toes the floor felt gritty. the pain of a stubbed toeIdioms to refuse to do something or to change your mind about something They dug in their heels and would not lower the price.
    dip a toe in/into something, dip a toe in/into the water
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    (informal) to start doing something very carefully to see if it will be successful or not We decided to dip a toe in the computer games market.
    covering your whole body We were covered from head to foot in mud. She was dressed from head to toe in red. completely; all over She was dressed in green from top to toe.
    keep somebody on their toes
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    to make sure that somebody is ready to deal with anything that might happen by doing things that they are not expecting Surprise visits help to keep the staff on their toes.
    make somebody’s toes curl
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    to make somebody feel embarrassed or uncomfortable see also toe-curling See related entries: Embarrassment
    step on somebody’s toes
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    (North American English, informal) = tread on somebody’s toes
    tread on somebody’s toes (especially British English) (usually North American English step on somebody’s toes)
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    (informal) to offend or annoy somebody, especially by getting involved in something that is their responsibility I don’t want to tread on anybody’s toes so I’ll keep quiet.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: toe