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Heel vs. Heal: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on January 27, 2024
"Heel" refers to the back part of the foot below the ankle, or the lower back part of a shoe, while "heal" means to become healthy again or cause to become healthy.

Key Differences

Heel is a specific physical part of the body or an element of footwear, often associated with support or balance. Heal, however, is a process or action of recovery, typically from an injury or illness.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
The word "heel" is often used in contexts related to anatomy, footwear, or even behavior (as in 'to heel' in dog training). "Heal" is predominantly used in medical, emotional, or spiritual contexts, implying restoration or recovery.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
Heel serves primarily as a noun, though it can also be a verb in specific contexts (like commanding a dog). Heal is primarily a verb, indicating the action of recovery or making something better.
Huma Saeed
Jan 27, 2024
"Heel" appears in idioms like "take to one's heels" (meaning to run away), while "heal" is used in expressions like "time heals all wounds," emphasizing the restorative aspect of time.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
Heel might be associated with stability, posture, or direction, as in following at someone's heels. Heal carries associations of care, improvement, and the passage of time leading to betterment.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Noun (primarily), Verb (secondarily)
Verb
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Usage

Refers to a body part or part of a shoe
Means to make or become healthy or whole
Huma Saeed
Jan 27, 2024

Contexts

Anatomy, Footwear, Behavior
Medicine, Recovery, Emotional Healing
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Idiomatic Usage

"Achilles' heel," "Take to one's heels"
"Heal the world," "Time heals all wounds"
Harlon Moss
Jan 27, 2024

Symbolic Meaning

Stability, Direction
Recovery, Improvement
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024
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Heel and Heal Definitions

Heel

The back part of the foot below the ankle.
She injured her heel during the marathon.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

Heal

To become sound or healthy again.
Her wound began to heal after treatment.
Huma Saeed
Dec 27, 2023

Heel

The last or end part of something.
He read the book from cover to heel.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

Heal

To make healthy, whole, or sound.
The doctor helped heal his injuries.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Heel

A contemptible person.
The villain in the story was a real heel.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Heal

To restore to health.
Time can heal emotional scars.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Heel

The lower back part of a shoe or boot.
The heels of his shoes were worn out from walking.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

Heal

To mend or repair.
She was able to heal the rift in their friendship.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Heel

To follow closely.
The dog learned to heel during walks.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Heal

To free from ailment.
The medicine helped to heal her illness.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Heel

The rounded posterior portion of the human foot under and behind the ankle.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Heal

To restore to health or soundness; cure
Healed the sick patient.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Heel

The corresponding part of the hind foot of other vertebrates.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

Heal

To ease or relieve (emotional distress)
Only time can heal her grief.
Sara Rehman
Dec 26, 2023

FAQs

What does "heel" refer to in anatomy?

It's the back part of the foot below the ankle.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Can "heel" be used as a verb?

Yes, in commands like "heel" to a dog.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

What's an "Achilles' heel"?

It's a metaphor for a weakness or vulnerable point.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

What does "heal" mean in medicine?

It means to recover health or become whole again.
Huma Saeed
Jan 27, 2024

What is "heeling" in sailing?

It refers to a boat leaning over in the water.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

What does "time heals all wounds" imply?

It suggests that over time, emotional pain lessens.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

Is "heal" always related to physical injuries?

No, it can also refer to emotional or spiritual recovery.
Harlon Moss
Jan 27, 2024

Does "heal" imply a quick process?

No, healing can often be a gradual process.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Can "heal" be used in a spiritual context?

Yes, it's often used in the context of spiritual healing.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

How does heel pain commonly occur?

It can occur from injuries, overuse, or conditions like plantar fasciitis.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Can emotions "heal" over time?

Yes, emotional wounds can heal with time and care.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Are there different types of heels in shoes?

Yes, such as high heels, stiletto heels, and block heels.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

What does "self-healing" mean?

It refers to the process of recovery without external aid.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 27, 2024

Does "heel" have negative connotations?

Sometimes, as in calling someone a "heel" meaning a bad person.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

Can "heel" imply following someone closely?

Yes, as in "to heel" meaning to follow closely.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

What role does nutrition play in healing?

Good nutrition can significantly aid in the healing process.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

Is "heal" used in both physical and mental contexts?

Yes, it applies to both physical and mental recovery.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024

What's a "heel turn" in wrestling?

It's when a wrestler switches from being a good guy to a bad guy.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

How do doctors help heal injuries?

Through treatments, medicine, and therapy.
Janet White
Jan 27, 2024

Is "heel" related to balance?

Yes, particularly in the context of shoes and posture.
Sara Rehman
Jan 27, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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