The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Heel \Heel\, n. [OE. hele, heele, AS. h[=e]la, perh. for
h[=o]hila, fr. AS. h[=o]h heel (cf. Hough); but cf. D.
hiel, OFries. heila, h[=e]la, Icel. h[ae]ll, Dan. h[ae]l, Sw.
h[aum]l, and L. calx. [root]12. Cf. Inculcate.]
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 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
3. The latter or remaining part of anything; the closing or
concluding part. "The heel of a hunt." --A. Trollope. "The
heel of the white loaf." --Sir W. Scott.
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;
(a) (Naut.) The after end of a ship's keel.
(b) (Naut.) The lower end of a mast, a boom, the bowsprit,
the sternpost, etc.
(c) (Mil.) In a small arm, the corner of the but which is
upwards in the firing position.
(d) (Mil.) The uppermost part of the blade of a sword,
next to the hilt.
(e) The part of any tool next the tang or handle; as, the
heel of a scythe.
6. (Man.) Management by the heel, especially the spurred
heel; as, the horse understands the heel well.
(a) 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.
(b) A cyma reversa; -- so called by workmen. --Gwilt.
8. (Golf) The part of the face of the club head nearest the
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
9. In a carding machine, the part of a flat nearest the
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
Heel chain (Naut.), a chain passing from the bowsprit cap
around the heel of the jib boom.
Heel plate, the butt plate of a gun.
Heel of a rafter. (Arch.) See Heel, n., 7.
Heel ring, a ring for fastening a scythe blade to the
Neck and heels, the whole body. (Colloq.)
To be at the heels of, to pursue closely; to follow hard;
as, hungry want is at my heels. --Otway.
To be down at the heel, to be slovenly or in a poor plight.
To be out at the heels, to have on stockings that are worn
out; hence, to be shabby, or in a poor plight. --Shak.
To cool the heels. See under Cool.
To go heels over head, to turn over so as to bring the
heels uppermost; hence, to move in a inconsiderate, or
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. --Bunyan.
To tread upon one's heels, to follow closely. --Shak.