pedal

noun
ped·​al | \ ˈpe-dᵊl \

Definition of pedal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a lever pressed by the foot in the playing of a musical instrument (such as an organ or piano)
2 : a foot lever or treadle by which a part is activated in a mechanism a bike's pedals

pedal

adjective
ped·​al

Definition of pedal (Entry 2 of 3)

1 \ ˈpe-​dᵊl also  ˈpē-​ \ : of or relating to the foot
2 \ ˈpe-​dᵊl \ : of, relating to, or involving a pedal

pedal

verb
ped·​al | \ ˈpe-dᵊl \
pedaled also pedalled; pedaling also pedalling\ ˈpe-​dᵊl-​iŋ , ˈped-​liŋ \

Definition of pedal (Entry 3 of 3)

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

Keep a tight core, and keep your knees slightly bent throughout the back pedal. SELF, "Lower-Body and Core Workout," 31 Dec. 2018 The accelerator is controlled by an active pedaling motion rather than depressing the pedal in a conventional vehicle. Dom Tripolone, Fox News, "Bike pedal-operated Audi burns calories as you drive," 27 Sep. 2018 The bikes arrive needing only the seat, handlebars and rear tires to be attached to the frame and the pedals attached to the crank, Lenz said. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here’s how two 'ordinary' Milwaukee-area men created a unique, dual-wheeled bicycle. The next challenge? Trying to sell them.," 11 July 2018 When your leg is at the bottom of the pedal stroke, there should be a slight bend in that knee. Haley Shapley, SELF, "5 Essential Tips for Adjusting Your Indoor Bike Seat," 13 Oct. 2018 Equipped with motorcycle wheels, the carbon fiber bike is long and low and features a pair of 60-tooth chainrings which work in combination with a 12-tooth cog, allowing Mueller to achieve up to 130 feet of travel on a single pedal stroke. Jason Gay, WSJ, "She Just Rode 184 MPH on a Bicycle. Really.," 17 Sep. 2018 Burge, who has been arrested more than a dozen times, reportedly hit the gas pedal when deputies activated their emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Florida female felon's bloody mugshot the result of her head-on crash while fleeing cops, officials say," 19 July 2018 Then every pedal stroke makes the wheels rotate twice. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How Bike Gears Actually Work," 5 July 2018 Norma Adrianzen has her foot on the gas pedal of history. Timesoc, latimes.com, "TimesOC: Newport driving instructor helps get Saudi women on the road," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On a recent day, two children pedaled bicycles near the community basketball court as a front-end loader scooped dirt a few yards from playground equipment. Kate Santich, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Griffin Park public housing complex could face demolition, relocating 345 residents," 29 June 2018 The trails pass through small towns at the edge of Wisconsin's Driftless Region, and are great for everything from a full day of pedaling to a multi-day bike packing trip. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "4 linked trails and 100 miles of biking bliss in western Wisconsin," 21 June 2018 Take Kate Harris, who hopped on a bike with her childhood best friend Mel and pedaled from Istanbul to China, following Marco Polo's Silk Road. Condé Nast Traveler, "Women Who Travel Podcast: What It Takes to Bike the Silk Road in 10 Months," 12 Nov. 2018 Francisco Manuel Vasquez, 22, was pedaling east along Northeast Burnside Road near Hogan Drive when the accident occurred Sunday around 11:30 a.m., said Officer Ben Costigan, a Gresham police spokesman. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh, OregonLive.com, "Portland bicyclist rides erratically down middle of Burnside, gets struck by car, cops say," 11 June 2018 Here a cyclist pedals in Frankfurt, Germany, in November 1973, when driving was prohibited because of the oil crisis. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s Anchor, Ponders a Future Without the Cartel," 8 Nov. 2018 Always one to add her own flair, Madge pedals with sturdy biking gloves. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Madonna’s Epic Workout Style Deserves a Round of Applause," 16 Aug. 2018 The same can be done with burpees with no jump, bicycle crunches (pedaling), standing jumps, pushups, power squats (holding something) and crunches. Mike Candelaria, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Got 5 minutes? You have time to exercise," 11 July 2018 The accelerator is controlled by an active pedaling motion rather than depressing the pedal in a conventional vehicle. Dom Tripolone, Fox News, "Bike pedal-operated Audi burns calories as you drive," 27 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pedal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pedal

Noun

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1618, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1883, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pedal

Noun

Middle French pedale, from Italian, from Latin pedalis, adjective

Adjective

Latin pedalis, from ped-, pes

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pedal

Statistics for pedal

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pedal

The first known use of pedal was in 1611

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pedal

pedal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pedal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a flat piece of metal, rubber, etc., that you push with your foot to make a machine move, work, or stop

: a lever on a piano, organ, etc., that you push with your foot to make or change a sound

pedal

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pedal (Entry 2 of 2)

: to push the pedals of (something, such as a bicycle)

: to ride a bicycle to a particular place

pedal

noun
ped·​al | \ ˈpe-dᵊl \

Kids Definition of pedal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a lever worked by the foot or feet

pedal

verb
pedaled also pedalled; pedaling also pedalling

Kids Definition of pedal (Entry 2 of 2)

: to use or work levers with a foot or feet She's learning how to pedal a bicycle.

pedal

adjective
ped·​al | \ ˈped-ᵊl also ˈpēd-\

Medical Definition of pedal

: of or relating to the foot

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pedal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pedal

Spanish Central: Translation of pedal

Nglish: Translation of pedal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pedal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pedal

What made you want to look up pedal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!