What does the word foothold mean?

Usage examples for foothold

  1. We came as near going to the bottom that time as we could without going, and I promised myself that if I ever again got a foothold on solid ground, I would keep it; but here I am thinking of going to sea once more, as soon as I have had a visit with you and mother." – Marcy The Blockade Runner by Harry Castlemon
  2. Vergennes held that this was all the Americans could reasonably demand, and he agreed with Aranda that they had as yet gained no foothold upon the eastern bank of the great river, unmindful of the fact that at that very moment the fortresses at Cahokia and Kaskaskia were occupied by American garrisons. – The Critical Period of American History by John Fiske
  3. A creature with four feet had greater purchase of foothold than one with two. – The Adventures of Akbar by Flora Annie Steel