Sit at the feet of someone

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The idiom sit at the feet of someone may be confusing to many people. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the meaning of the phrase sit at the feet of someone, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To sit at the feet of someone means to be instructed by someone or to learn something. This image carries the connotation of a master instructing a pupil. The master in this case is a much more accomplished or knowledgeable person than the pupil. The idea is that of an apprentice to a sage. The idiom to sit at the feet of someone dates back thousands of years, to a time when students would literally sit at the feet of philosophers or gurus as they received instruction. Related phrases are sits at the feet of someone, sat at the feet of someone, sitting at the feet of someone.


There were no creative writing courses back then, so the way to learn the trade was to sit at the feet of some distinguished rogue and act as a devoted waiter for a few years, while the empty whiskey bottles mounted up in the wardrobe. (The Irish Times)

“The opportunity to sit at the feet of brilliant people, whatever their background, and learn from them is something that we take a lot of pleasure in.” (The Baltimore Sun)

“We, the younger musicians who had sat at the feet of these musical masters, we’re the ones whose responsibility it was to carry this torch forward — as they had been at one time in their life. (The Goshen News)

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