AskDefine | Define footstool

Dictionary Definition

footstool n : a low stool to rest the feet of a seated person [syn: footrest, ottoman]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. A low stool for supporting the feet while seated.

Translations

a low stool

Extensive Definition

A footstool is a piece of furniture, the purpose of which is to support one's feet. There are two main types of footstool, which can be loosely categorized into two categories, those designed for comfort and those designed for function.

Footstools for comfort

This type of footstool is used to provide comfort to a person seated, for example, in a chair or sofa. It is typically a short, wide, four-legged stool with a padded top, upholstered in a fabric or animal hide, such as leather. This type of footstool is also a type of Ottoman and it often referred to simply as an Ottoman. It allows the seated person to rest their feet upon it, supporting their legs at a mostly horizontal level, thus giving rise to use of the term footrest, for this item.

Footstools for function

This type of footstool, also known simply as a stool, is used as a short stepladder or to support a person's (usually a child's) feet that do not reach the floor when seated. In the former case, the footstool is used by placing it on a flat surface and standing on it to extend one's reach. In the latter case, the footstool is placed under the feet of a sitting person so that the person's feet may rest comfortably on it. An example of the latter is the type of piano footstool used in conjunction with a piano bench.It is also used to make the blood circulation of your body flow more freely than sitting down.

Etiquette

Generally, any object of suitable elevation may be employed as a makeshift footrest. Another seat, a desk, or a table may serve. These options are usually considered inconsiderate since feet, and especially shoes (by their nature) tend to collect more dirt than a person's working area or pants.

Notes

footstool in Spanish: Reposapiés
footstool in Dutch Low Saxon: Voetenbänksien
footstool in Finnish: Jakkara
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