From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. The hinder part of the foot; sometimes, the whole foot; in man or quadrupeds. He [the stag] calls to mind his strength and then his speed, his winged heels and then his armed head. (Denham)

2. The hinder part of any covering for the foot, as of a shoe, sock, etc.; specif, a solid part projecting downward from the hinder part of the sole of a boot or shoe.

3. The latter or remaining part of anything; the closing or concluding part. The heel of a hunt. . The heel of the white loaf. .

4. Anything regarded as like a human heel in shape; a protuberance; a knob.

5. The part of a thing corresponding in position to the human heel; the lower part, or part on which a thing rests; especially: The uppermost part of the blade of a sword, next to the hilt. The part of any tool next the tang or handle; as, the heel of a scythe.

6. Management by the heel, especially the spurred heel; as, the horse understands the heel well.

7. The lower end of a timber in a frame, as a post or rafter. In the united states, specif, the obtuse angle of the lower end of a rafter set sloping. A cyma reversa; so called by workmen. Heel chain see heel. Heel ring, a ring for fastening a scythe blade to the snath. Neck and heels, the whole body. To be at the heels of, to pursue closely; to follow hard: as, hungry want is at my heels. To be down at the heel, to be slovenly or in a po 8dd or plight. To be out at the heels, to have on stockings that are worn out; hence, to be shabby, or in a poor plight. To cool the heels. See Cool. To go heels over head, to turn over so as to bring the heels uppermost; hence, to move in a inconsiderate, or rash, manner. To have the heels of, to outrun. To lay by the heels, to fetter; to shackle; to imprison. . To show the heels, to flee; to run from. To take to the heels, to flee; to betake to flight. To throw up another's heels, to trip him. To tread upon one's heels, to follow closely.

Origin: oe. Hele, heele, as. Hela, perh. For hohila, fr. As. Heh heel (cf. Hough); but cf. D. Hiel, OFries. Heila, HLA, Icel. Haell, dan. Hael, Sw. Hal, and L. Calx. Cf. Inculcate.