AskDefine | Define toehold

Dictionary Definition



1 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"
2 a small foothold used in climbing
3 a wrestling hold in which the toe is held and the leg is twisted against the joints

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. (rock climbing) A foothold small enough to support just the toe
  2. In the context of "by extension": Any small advantage which allows one to make significant progress

Extensive Definition

  • In climbing, a support for the toe of the foot, to aid in ascent
  • Metaphorically, any small step which allows one to move toward a greater goal
  • In grappling, a type of ankle lock.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

advantage, bear hug, bite, clamp, clasp, clench, clinch, cling, clinging, clutch, death grip, embrace, firm hold, foothold, footing, footplate, footrail, footrest, full nelson, grapple, grasp, grip, gripe, half nelson, hold, hug, iron grip, lock, locus standi, nip, perch, purchase, quarter nelson, scissors, seizure, stance, stand, standing, standing place, stranglehold, tight grip, traction
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