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Flat-footed   Listen
adjective
Flat-footed  adj.  
1.
Having a flat foot, with little or no arch of the instep; suffering from fallen arches.
2.
Firm-footed; determined. (Slang, U.S.)
3.
Clumsy; amateurish; pedestrian; unimaginative; plodding; as, flatfooted prose.
4.
Without reservation; without evasion or compromise; firm; as, a flat-footed refusal; a flatfooted denial.
Synonyms: downright, forthright, foursquare, head-on, straightforward.
5.
With feet flat on the ground; not tiptoe.
6.
Unprepared and unable to react quickly; as, the new product caught their competitors flat-footed.
Synonyms: unready. To catch (one) flatfooted to catch (a person) unprepared; to catch (a person) by surprise.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Flat-footed" Quotes from Famous Books



... way down the winding staircase from the upper deck, dropped flat-footed on the asphalt pavement, turned his collar up, leaned into the gust of wind from the South, and swung into the cross-current ...
— When Winter Comes to Main Street • Grant Martin Overton

... went to the tent to wake Katz!" Tommy chuckled, "and saw him sneaking away making flat-footed for the hills!" ...
— Boy Scouts on the Great Divide - or, The Ending of the Trail • Archibald Lee Fletcher

... would be pretty good campaign work if he was the hypocrite I took him to be, from his stuff in the Sentinel. But if he's on the level, as you think he is, there's a chance—don't you see there's a chance that he'd come out flat-footed for the enforcement of the law? And if he did!... Child, can you see what would happen if ...
— The Sturdy Oak - A Composite Novel of American Politics by Fourteen American Authors • Samuel Merwin, et al.

... honest clay good enough for yer now? I knows wots the matter wiv you, Billy Jones! You've got a weather-heye on the Quarter Deck you 'ave. You fink you're agoin' to be a blighted perishin' orficer you do! Yus, you flat-footed matlot—not even a blasted tiffy you ain't, and you buys a blighted baccy-pouch and yaller baccy and fag-pipers, like a Snottie, an' reckons you's on the 'igh road to be a bloomin' Winnie Lloyd Gorgeous Orficer. 'And ...
— Snake and Sword - A Novel • Percival Christopher Wren

... do you when you quarrel all the time you're together? She's declared herself already on this proposition—told the deputies flat-footed that she wouldn't tell them anything and would help her boys to escape in any way she could. You're just like a kid showing off his muscle before a little ...
— A Daughter of the Dons - A Story of New Mexico Today • William MacLeod Raine

... would infinitely rather be doing something else. And the dark flanks of the fishing-boats all aslope above, in their shining quietness, hot in the morning sun, rusty and seamed with square patches of plank nailed over their rents; just rough enough to let the little flat-footed fisher-children haul or twist themselves up to the gunwales, and drop back again along some stray rope; just round enough to remind us, in their broad and gradual curves, of the sweep of the green surges they know so well, and of the hours when those old sides of seared timber, all ...
— The Harbours of England • John Ruskin

... indignation he endures by this sympathy, which is reflection. He visits the Grundyite, who says "Shocking," "Not nice," when human nature writhes in its agony and cries aloud for that drop of water which he, the virtuous conformist, refuses. He goes to the flat-footed and broad-waisted; those who plod along the beaten highway, and turn neither to the right hand nor to the left, neither to the hills nor the hollows. But he speaks a foreign language, and they heed him not. The iron-bound care nought. Does that cry of suffering raise the ...
— The Idler Magazine, Vol III. May 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... remember it perfectly. All the same, if you will waste Berry's substance at places of entertainment in the West End, and then fling a priceless heirloom down in the hall of the theatre, you mustn't be surprised if some flat-footed seeker after pleasure ...
— The Brother of Daphne • Dornford Yates

... dress, a respectable, rather shiny gown of grayish mauve, a bonnet edged with white ribbon, a pair of white thread gloves. She carried her little bag and a small Japanese fan. Walking in a strange, flat-footed way that was peculiar to her, and glancing narrowly about her, yet keeping her hand almost still, she advanced towards the band-stand. As she came opposite to Artois the orchestra of women struck up the "Valse Noir," and the old woman stood still, impeded by the now dense ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... lashes. A man is built for work, like a truck. Gold and leather upholstering do not belong there. Women are different; it is their place in life to be beautiful, and when they fail in that, they fail entirely. They have no license to be fat, flabby double-chinned, flat-footed. It is not seemly, and of course you cannot tell how any of them may turn out. They are all pretty at sixteen. That is what makes ...
— Purple Springs • Nellie L. McClung

... another about our niggers, but I am not quite certified how that is to be sot to rights; I consait that you don't understand us. But," said he, evading the subject with his usual dexterity, "we deal only in niggers—and those thick-skulled, crooked-shanked, flat-footed, long-heeled, wooly-headed gentlemen, don't seem fit for much else but slavery, I do suppose. They ain't fit to contrive for themselves. They are jist like grasshoppers; they dance and sing all summer, and when winter comes they have nothin' provided for ...
— The Clockmaker • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... learn him, too. He'd give him a little punch behind, and the next minute you'd see that frog whirling in the air like a doughnut—see him turn one summerset, or maybe a couple, if he got a good start, and come down flat-footed and all right, like a cat. He got him up so in the matter of ketching flies, and kep' him in practice so constant, that he'd nail a fly every time as fur as he could see him. Smiley said all a frog wanted was education, and ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... heretical whisper,—very small and low. The negro of the North is an ideal negro; it is the negro refined by white culture, elevated by white blood, instructed even by white iniquity;—the negro among negroes is a coarse, grinning, flat-footed, thick-skulled creature, ugly as Caliban, lazy as the laziest of brutes, chiefly ambitious to be of no use to any in the world. View him as you will, his stock in trade is small;—he has but the tangible instincts of all creatures,—love of life, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 3, No. 19, May, 1859 • Various

... they have a good man. This flat-footed fellow, John, will take command, as he should. There is no danger in the woods at any season unless the party gets rattled and goes to pieces for want of ...
— The Desert and The Sown • Mary Hallock Foote

... you are about it," he returned, teasingly. "Of course, if you insist, I'll risk my job with the committee and come out flat-footed for ...
— Janice Day at Poketown • Helen Beecher Long

... which admitted employes to the big, bright, inner office. But he did not use it. Instead he turned suddenly and walked down the hall to the double door which led into the reception room. He threw out his legs stiffly and came down rather flat-footed, the way George Cohan does when he's pleased with himself in ...
— Personality Plus - Some Experiences of Emma McChesney and Her Son, Jock • Edna Ferber

... the debate, and while I begins by statin' flat-footed that Robin could come or go for all I cared, it ends in the usual compromise. I agrees to take the eight-forty-five into town and skirmish for Sonny. He'd be almost sure to show up at Purdy-Pell's to-night, Sadie says, and if I was ...
— Shorty McCabe on the Job • Sewell Ford

... bare ankles and heavy silver rings upon her toes. She turned her face, which was overshadowed by a hood, to look at Shere Ali as he rode by. He saw the heavy stud of silver and enamel in her nostril, the withered brown face. He turned and looked at her, as she walked flat-footed and ungainly, her pyjamas of pink cotton showing beneath her cloak. He had no part or lot with any of these people of the East. The face of Violet Oliver shone before his eyes. There was his mate. He recalled the exquisite daintiness of her appearance, her ruffles of lace, the winning sweetness ...
— The Broken Road • A. E. W. Mason

... Froissart astonished. "I surely am of all men most loyal to l'Entente. Have I not proved my loyalty? I have left my beautiful France and come here to this foggy London to aid this flat-footed homme de bout, Dawson, in his researches. Yet he tells me nothing. He disguises himself before me, and laughs, laughs, when I fail to recognize his filthy, obscene countenance. But I am loyal, of ...
— The Lost Naval Papers • Bennet Copplestone

... a giggle, and old Grace spoke up, about as follows: "I'se come to you, sir"—pause—"I'se been working fer owner three years, and made with my chillun two bales cotton last year, two more this year. I'se a flat-footed pusson and don't know much, but I knows those two bales cotton fetch 'nough money, and I don't see what I'se got for 'em. When I take my leetle bit money and go to store, buy cloth, find it so dear, dear Jesus!—the money all gone and leave chillun naked. Some people go ...
— Letters from Port Royal - Written at the Time of the Civil War (1862-1868) • Various

... them, the animals kneeling at the word of command for us to do so. Our party, six in number, was divided so that four persons, including the driver, rode on each elephant. They were large and docile creatures, being respectively seventy and ninety years of age. Their shuffling, flat-footed tread is peculiar, but not very unpleasant, except when the driver hurries the animals; but even then the gait is not nearly so trying to the rider as is that of the camel, which is only comparable to a Cunarder pitching in a head sea. The elephants seem to be very easily controlled by the ...
— Due West - or Round the World in Ten Months • Maturin Murray Ballou

... escape from the enemy has led to an interesting development, which will be more fully explained in a later section when we speak of the history of the horse. The early mammals walked flat-footed, as we do on our feet and as the raccoon and the bear do on theirs. Gradually, however, as their enemies became more fierce and better able to injure the larger mammals, the latter gained in power of flight, and this gain consisted first in rising ...
— The Meaning of Evolution • Samuel Christian Schmucker

... sibilants collided here. "His wit?"—no, that would be flat-footed awkwardness in the management of your vowel-sounds; the lengthened "a" was almost requisite. . . . Pope was fretting over the imbroglio when he absent-mindedly glanced up to perceive that his Sarah, not irrevocably offended, was being embraced by a certain John Hughes—who ...
— The Certain Hour • James Branch Cabell

... the pig-sty wall; the horse waiting meekly, with knotted traces hanging round it, to be harnessed; the cat, on some grave business of its own, squeezing gracefully under a closed barn door; the weary, flat-footed duck, nuzzling the mud of a small pool as delicately as though it were a rich custard. I was utterly free; I might go and come as I liked. Time had ceased to exist for me, and it was pleasant to reflect, as I finished ...
— The Upton Letters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... flirt; a German of the Germans. Now Carlyle had humour; he had it in his very style, but it never got into his philosophy. His philosophy largely remained a heavy Teutonic idealism, absurdly unaware of the complexity of things; as when he perpetually repeated (as with a kind of flat-footed stamping) that people ought to tell the truth; apparently supposing, to quote Stevenson's phrase, that telling the truth is as easy as blind hookey. Yet, though his general honesty is unquestionable, he was ...
— The Victorian Age in Literature • G. K. Chesterton

... to his trainer that he had decided to take him along for company, and when that corpulent gentleman rebelled on the ground that the day was too sultry, his employer would have none of it, so together they trotted away later in the morning, Speed in his silken suit, Glass running flat-footed and with great effort. But once safely hidden from view, they dropped into a walk, and selecting a favorable resting-place, paused. Speed lighted a cigarette, Glass produced a deck of cards from his pocket, and they played seven- up. Having ...
— Going Some • Rex Beach

... spinning-jennies, she learned this craft, Heaven only knows; but there she sits, with her work pinned to her knee—not the pretty taper silken fabric, with which Jeannette of Amiens coquetted, while Tristram Shandy was observing her progress; but a huge worsted bag, designed for some flat-footed old pauper, with heels like an elephant—And there she squats, counting all the stitches as she works, and refusing to speak, or listen, or look up, under pretence that it disturbs ...
— St. Ronan's Well • Sir Walter Scott

... Tuvvy, and once for her father, who both got home earlier. Becky had seen the same things so often from her dim corner, that she could have described them with her eyes shut, and it was all just the same this afternoon. A heavy, flat-footed step, and Mrs Tuvvy entered with a tired, ill-used look on her face, cast off her shawl, untied the strings of her bonnet, and tipped it forward on her head. Becky would hardly have known her mother without her bonnet, for she wore it indoors and out. Then, talking all the time in a high, ...
— Black, White and Gray - A Story of Three Homes • Amy Walton

... my mind I wouldn't do much drivin' myself unless I had to, an' not then till the last quarter of the heat. Wa'al, it got to lookin' like a putty even thing. What little show I had made was if anythin' on the Purse side. One day Tenaker come in to see me an' wanted to know flat-footed which side the fence I was on. 'Wa'al,' I says, 'I've ben settin' up fer shapes to be kind o' on the fence, but I don't mind sayin', betwixt you an' me, that the bulk o' my heft is a-saggin' your way; but I hain't took no active part, an' Purse an' them thinks I'm goin' to be on their ...
— David Harum - A Story of American Life • Edward Noyes Westcott

... surpassed. At one moment he pleases the uncritical mass of readers, in another mood he wins the verdict of the raffine. It is a success which scarce any English poet but Shakespeare has excelled. His faults have rarely, if ever, been those of flat-footed, "thick-ankled" dulness; of rhetoric, of common- place; rather have his defects been the excess of his qualities. A kind of John Bullishness may also be noted, especially in derogatory references to France, ...
— Alfred Tennyson • Andrew Lang

... that junk in the bedroom and, deducing from it that their quarry had stood not upon the order of his going but had hopped it, would not waste time in searching a presumably empty apartment. If, on the other hand, they were the obtuse, flat-footed persons who occasionally find their way into the ranks of even the most enlightened constabularies, they would undoubtedly shift the settee and drag him into a publicity from which his modest soul shrank. He was enchanted, therefore, a few moments ...
— Indiscretions of Archie • P. G. Wodehouse

... out of a gun. They got together on it, eight of the big bosses, called me in and told me flat-footed what we had to do," said the salesman. "Oh, I tell you, those fellows are ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... ... an exquisite young creature. Alva was gawky and younger. She was callow and moulting, flat-footed and long-shanked. Her face was sallow and ...
— Tramping on Life - An Autobiographical Narrative • Harry Kemp

... spear-shaped paddles swung alongside like a naval pinnace, and a fat old chap, dressed in a vast white flannel nightgown with a sort of dress-shirt front pleated on it in blue thread, came slowly up the ladder. Came up and walked past with a heavy, flat-footed tread, and disappeared into the saloon with the Old Man. I was too astonished to speak for some time. That old fellow's face behind its broad benevolence and its confusing tattooings and mutilations, had an expression of power. It was an expression you do not find ...
— Aliens • William McFee

... inside their warning system and caught them flat-footed. But there must be some way they get ...
— A Yankee Flier Over Berlin • Al Avery

... trim and frillily-capped, came out of the watched house. She bore some eight or nine letters in one hand, and fanned herself with them in a leisurely flat-footed progress to the ...
— The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck - A Comedy of Limitations • James Branch Cabell

... and, without a word, adjusted the handkerchief deftly, and pinned it in place with a safety-pin which she drew out of her dress. Then she left the room with her flat-footed walk. As she shut the ...
— In the Wilderness • Robert Hichens

... pursue. He stopped and stood flat-footed in the middle of the ring, hands hanging idle at his ...
— Winner Take All • Larry Evans

... truth, of being financed on the quiet by a most respectable firm of copra merchants. Later on he ran off—it was reported—with the wife of a missionary, a very young girl from Clapham way, who had married the mild, flat-footed fellow in a moment of enthusiasm, and, suddenly transplanted to Melanesia, lost her bearings somehow. It was a dark story. She was ill at the time he carried her off, and died on board his ship. It is said—as ...
— Lord Jim • Joseph Conrad

... Recess was a frantic nightmare for Hedrick, and his homeward progress at noon a procession of such uproarious screamers as were his equals in speed. The nethermost depths were reached when an ignoble pigtailed person he had always trodden upon flat-footed screamed across the fence from next door, as he reached fancied sanctuary in his ...
— The Flirt • Booth Tarkington

... just like the old prints and danced with the old print postures. The girls pass the drinks and the rice which always comes at the end of such feasts. The little eleven-year-old gave a dance called "Climbing Fuji." Wonderful flat-footed movements that make you feel exactly as if you were climbing with her. In the middle part she puts on a mask which is puffy in the cheeks, and then she wipes the perspiration and washes her little face and fans herself and goes on again, flatfooted. All the motions ...
— Letters from China and Japan • John Dewey

... of course, it was not—to go back to the St. Brasten Cocoa House, where he could talk to the honest flat-footed galumping waitress, and cross his feet under his chair. For here he was daintily, yes, daintily, studied by the tea-room habitues—two bouncing and talkative daughters of an American tourist, a slender pale-haired English girl student of Assyriology with large top-barred eye-glasses ...
— Our Mr. Wrenn - The Romantic Adventures of a Gentle Man • Sinclair Lewis

... Behagnies now. He did not march in the retreat a little apart from the troops, with head bent forward and hand thrust in jacket, a flat-footed Napoleon: yet he is gone; for no one would have left behind for the enemy so precious a thing as a Charlie Chaplin film. He is gone but he will return. He will come with his cane one day along that Arras road to the old hut in Behagnies; and men dressed in brown will welcome ...
— Tales of War • Lord Dunsany

... was a small, flat-footed scarlet slipper with a fluffy gold toe to it. Definitely feminine. Definitely small. So much for that! Then there was a sling-shot, ferociously stubby, and rather confusingly boyish. After that, round and flat and tantalizing as an empty plate, the phonograph disc of a totally ...
— Molly Make-Believe • Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

... arrival there came about the most hopeless specimen I can remember to have seen. His name was Sullivan, though he pronounced it Soolikan, and he was an embodiment of every awkwardness and stupidity. He was a shambling, flat-footed, weak-kneed, round-shouldered youth, and the Fourth asked with amazement how on earth the doctors had been induced to pass him. So far as I remember, he never learned anything. The various drills laboured at ...
— The Making Of A Novelist - An Experiment In Autobiography • David Christie Murray

... savage, on the full run, and very flat-footed, pursuing the herd. Hastily the load was thrown from one of the horses, a man was mounted upon him, and galloping over the plain soon overtook the Indian, and led him back to the company. When the poor ...
— The Adventures of the Chevalier De La Salle and His Companions, in Their Explorations of the Prairies, Forests, Lakes, and Rivers, of the New World, and Their Interviews with the Savage Tribes, Two Hu • John S. C. Abbott

... the postern clicked and the familiar noises of the city fell on his ear—the slapping flat-footed lasses crying "Fried Fish," the sellers of "Hot Oyster Soup," the yelling venders of crout and salad—Michael gradually picked up his courage, and we proceeded down the High Street of Thorn to the retired hostel of ...
— Red Axe • Samuel Rutherford Crockett

... only he won't tell me how, and you never can tell what's going to happen when the lawyers get at you. There are lots of holes in the legal skimmer: for example, at the preliminary hearing Blackwell had three surveyors who went on the stand and swore flat-footed that the lines on our side of the spur were all wrong; that the Lawrenceburg group of claims covered not only our original triangle, but the Mary Mattock as well. Paid-for perjury, of course, but we couldn't prove ...
— Branded • Francis Lynde



Words linked to "Flat-footed" :   splayfooted, footed, direct



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