[foo t-print] /ˈfʊtˌprɪnt/

a mark left by the shod or unshod foot, as in earth or sand.
an impression of the sole of a person’s foot, especially one taken for purposes of identification.
Informal. the track of a tire, especially on wet pavement.
a unique set of characteristics, actions, etc., that leave a trace and serve as a means of identification: Be careful when you post on social media—your online footprint could harm your reputation.
The tumors share the same genetic footprint.
the area affected by an increase in the level of sound or noise, as that generated by an airplane.
Telecommunications. the area of the earth’s surface within which a communications satellite’s signals can be received.
Aerospace. the area within which it is predicted that a spacecraft or its debris will land.
the surface space of a desk or tabletop occupied by a piece of equipment, especially a computer or other electronic device.
the surface area occupied by any structure, device, etc.:
The new store will have a large footprint.
the impact that humans have on the environment, especially in the utilization of natural resources: China’s water footprint;
ways to reduce our environmental footprint.
any impact or effect, or its scope:
the company’s wide footprint across Puerto Rico.
Also called ecological footprint. the amount of biologically productive land and ocean area required to sustain the resource consumption and waste production of an individual, population, or human activity: measured in global acres or hectares.
Computers. the amount of memory or disk space required by a program.
an indentation or outline of the foot of a person or animal on a surface
the shape and size of the area something occupies: enlarging the footprint of the building, a computer with a small footprint
impact on the environment
a military presence: since 1944, America’s military footprint in Europe has been in the West
(computing) the amount of resources, such as disk space and memory, that an application requires See also electronic footprint
an identifying characteristic on land or water, such as the area in which an aircraft’s sonic boom can be heard or the area covered by the down-blast of a hovercraft
the area in which the signal from a direct broadcasting satellite is receivable

1550s, from foot (n.) + print. Related: Footprints. Old English had fotspor, fotswæð.


1. The floor or desk area taken up by a piece of hardware.
2. The amount of disk or RAM taken up by a program or file.
3. (IBM) The audit trail left by a crashed program (often “footprints”).
See also toeprint.
[Jargon File]


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