pedal

1 of 3

noun

ped·​al ˈpe-dᵊl How to pronounce pedal (audio)
plural pedals
1
a
: a lever pressed by the foot in the playing of a musical instrument (such as an organ or piano)
b
: an electronic device that is usually pressed by the foot and that alters or loops the sound of an amplified voice or musical instrument
a guitar pedal
an effects pedal
a wah-wah pedal
2
: a foot lever or treadle by which a part is activated in a mechanism
a bike's pedals

pedal

2 of 3

adjective

ped·​al
1
ˈpe-dᵊl How to pronounce pedal (audio)
 also  ˈpē-
: of or relating to the foot
2
ˈpe-dᵊl How to pronounce pedal (audio) : of, relating to, or involving a pedal

pedal

3 of 3

verb

ped·​al ˈpe-dᵊl How to pronounce pedal (audio)
pedaled also pedalled; pedaling also pedalling ˈpe-dᵊl-iŋ How to pronounce pedal (audio)
ˈped-liŋ

intransitive verb

1
: to ride a bicycle
2
: to use or work a pedal

transitive verb

: to work the pedals of

Examples of pedal in a Sentence

Verb He was pedaling as fast as he could. He pedaled down to the store.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
So once the damage is done, that is the stronger dramatic exit for the scene — anything trying to back pedal wouldn’t be as interesting, frankly. Hunter Ingram, Variety, 17 July 2024 The restrooms can be traditional, with a row of stalls and bank of sinks, or a stand-alone cabin with a basin activated by a foot pedal. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, 3 July 2024
Adjective
Listen to this article Hartford City council members are considering bringing a pedal pub to the city. Stephen Underwood, Hartford Courant, 16 Apr. 2024 Rodeo, fair queen contest, muddy hog competition, BBQ classic, pedal tractor pull, AG Olympics, cornhole competition, baby contest and more. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 15 June 2024
Verb
Bill Roche pedaled a blue stationary bike in Centennial Park North on a recent sunny afternoon. Lizzy Alspach, Baltimore Sun, 16 July 2024 Positioning the remote close to the grip worked the best, and I gradually got used to holding the button while pedaling. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, 31 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for pedal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pedal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

borrowed from Middle French pedalle "pedal of an organ," borrowed from Italian pedale, earlier, "base of a tree trunk," going back to Latin pedālis "one foot long" (as noun pedāle "footwear") — more at pedal entry 2

Adjective

borrowed from Latin pedālis "one foot long," from ped-, pēs "foot" + -ālis -al entry 1; (sense 2) from attributive use of pedal entry 1 — more at foot entry 1

Verb

derivative of pedal entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1618, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1883, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pedal was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near pedal

Cite this Entry

“Pedal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pedal. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

pedal

1 of 2 noun
ped·​al ˈped-ᵊl How to pronounce pedal (audio)
: a lever (as on a piano, bicycle, or sewing machine) worked by the foot

pedal

2 of 2 verb
pedaled also pedalled; pedaling also pedalling
ˈped-ᵊl-iŋ,
-liŋ
1
: to use or work the pedals of something
2
: to ride a bicycle
Etymology

Noun

from early French pedale "a foot lever on an organ," from Italian pedale (same meaning), from Latin pedalis "of the foot," from ped-, pes "foot" — related to pedestrian

Medical Definition

pedal

adjective
ped·​al
ˈped-ᵊl also ˈpēd-
: of or relating to the foot

More from Merriam-Webster on pedal

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