foothold

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*foothold (somewhere)

Fig. an initial position of support; a starting point. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; help someone get ~.) It's difficult to get a foothold in the education market when schools are laying off teachers. Max's father helped him get a foothold in the textile industry.

help someone get a foothold

(somewhere) Go to a foothold (somewhere).
See also: foothold, get, help
References in classic literature ?
I was just about to clamber along the jagged rocks which lie at the base of the cliff next to the sea, in search of some foothold to the top, when I chanced to see a canoe rounding the end of the island.
The lion had no sooner entered the tunnel than he backed immediately out again and, pivoting like a flash, was off across the gulch in full charge after the flying ape-man; but Tarzan's lead was too great--if he could find finger or foothold upon the sheer wall he would be safe; but should he slip from the wet rocks his doom was already sealed as he would fall directly into Numa's clutches where even the Great Tarmangani would be helpless.
With the agility of a cat Tarzan ran up the cliff for thirty feet before he paused, and there finding a secure foothold, he stopped and looked down upon Numa who was leaping upward in a wild and futile attempt to scale the rocky wall to his prey.
He pushed Schneider from his foothold to the ground below.
In the open field it ranges itself in ranks and battalions; where it can get a foothold it makes a stand; where it can take cover it does so.
Beyond stretched the rugged rock, wet and shining, with a green tuft here and there thrusting out from it, but little sign of ridge or foothold.
Anne, clinging desperately to her precarious foothold, saw their flying forms and heard their shrieks.
We were a good sixty feet from the round, and, look where I would, I could see no foothold, nor as much as a crevice in the brick-work.
Over the ploughland riding was utterly impossible; the horse could only keep a foothold where there was ice, and in the thawing furrows he sank deep in at each step.
The surf-level sucked and sank away, and across and down Hall jumped to a narrow foothold where the wash had roared yards deep the moment before.
If she slipped, by accident, from off the Spit, she fell in where there's foothold at the bottom, at a depth that would barely cover her to the waist.
He was the ruler of three villages on a narrow plain; the master of an insignificant foothold on the earth--of a conquered foothold that, shaped like a young moon, lay ignored between the hills and the sea.
Mr Wegg next modestly remarks on the want of adaptation in a wooden leg to ladders and such like airy perches, and also hints at an inherent tendency in that timber fiction, when called into action for the purposes of a promenade on an ashey slope, to stick itself into the yielding foothold, and peg its owner to one spot.
A private Taiwanese bank, Cathay United purchased a 50% stake in Indovina in 2000, which has grown rapidly to have 35 footholds in Vietnam.
Japanese carmakers have established footholds in Thailand as important export bases.