Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

heel - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     heel pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    the back part of your foot, below your ankle

    I’ve got a sore heel.

    sit back on your heels:

    He sat back on his heels and swore.

  2. 2
    the part underneath the back of a shoe

    black boots with low heels

    1. a.


      [plural] women’s shoes with high heels
  3. 3
    the part of a sock etc that goes over the back of your foot. The other end is called the toe.
  4. 4
    the part of the front of your hand nearest your wrist

    Apply some pressure to your lower back with the heels of your hands.



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play