views updated

toe / / • n. 1. any of the five digits at the end of the human foot: he cut his big toe on a sharp stone. ∎  any of the digits of the foot of a quadruped or bird. ∎  the part of an item of footwear that covers a person's toes.2. the lower end, tip, or point of something, in particular: ∎  the tip of the head of a golf club, furthest from the shaft. ∎  the foot or base of a cliff, slope, or embankment. ∎  a flattish portion at the foot of an otherwise steep curve on a graph. ∎  a section of a rhizome or similar fleshy root from which a new plant may be propagated.• v. (toes, toed, toe·ing) 1. [tr.] push, touch, or kick (something) with one's toe: he toed off his shoes and flexed his feet. ∎  Golf strike (the ball) with the toe of the club.2. [intr.] (toe in/out) walk with the toes pointed in (or out): he toes out when he walks. ∎  (of a pair of wheels) converge (or diverge) slightly at the front: on a turn, the inner wheel toes out more.PHRASES: make someone's toes curl inf. bring about an extreme reaction in someone, either of pleasure or of disgust.on one's toes ready for any eventuality; alert: he carries out random spot checks to keep everyone on their toes.toe the line accept the authority, principles, or policies of a particular group, esp. under pressure.toe to toe (of two people) standing directly in front of one another, esp. in order to fight or argue.DERIVATIVES: toed adj. [in comb.] three-toed feet. toe·less adj.