pe·​des·​tri·​an | \ pə-ˈde-strē-ən How to pronounce pedestrian (audio) \

Definition of pedestrian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : commonplace, unimaginative his sentences and phrases are too often pedestrian, commonplace, and flatThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
2a : going or performed on foot pedestrian traffic a pedestrian tour of the village
b : of, relating to, or designed for walking a pedestrian mall a pedestrian bridge



Definition of pedestrian (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person going on foot : walker

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How Should You Use pedestrian?

Most of us know pedestrian as a noun meaning someone who travels on foot. But the adjective sense of pedestrian as defined here is actually its original meaning. To be pedestrian was to be drab or dull, as if plodding along on foot rather than speeding on horseback or by coach. Pedestrian is often used to describe a colorless or lifeless writing style, but it can also describe politicians, public tastes, personal qualities, or possessions. In comparison with the elaborate stage shows put on by today's rock artists, for instance, most of the stage presentations of 1960s rock stars seem pedestrian.

Examples of pedestrian in a Sentence


He lived a pedestrian life, working at the paper mill and living in his trailer. pedestrian concerns like paying the bills and getting the kids to school on time


The car slid off the road and almost hit a group of pedestrians.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The contractor for a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University that collapsed is plotting a return to the construction business while negotiating a bankruptcy settlement fund for those killed or injured in the accident. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Florida Contractor Seeks Bankruptcy Deal Over Fatal Bridge Collapse," 6 Mar. 2019 The sidewalks, the street, everything about Broward Boulevard needs to be much more pedestrian and bike friendly. Meryl Kornfield,, "Brightline train stations boost new development in South Florida's downtowns," 3 July 2018 The street will be pedestrian only from Arlington Street to Massachusetts Avenue, according to Walsh’s office. Danny Mcdonald,, "Newbury Street will be car-less on these three days this summer," 19 May 2018 This team has been flaky enough at times to suggest it’s capable of a stinker, and its numbers on offense and defense are decidedly pedestrian. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Kentucky is overwhelming favorite for Final Four despite John Calipari's mind games," 21 Mar. 2018 Glove compartments with traditional key locks have been around for decades, but in 2018, that method is simply too pedestrian. Tony Markovich, Car and Driver, "Touch and Go: Mulliner Offering Fingerprint-Lockable Storage in Bentley Bentayga," 19 Mar. 2018 The proposal also features a church, splash pad, a community garden and a pedestrian walkway connecting it with the adjacent Sunrise Mountain trailheads. Laura Gómez, azcentral, "Arizona's first 'upscale' Safeway, restaurants and boutiques planned for north Peoria," 9 May 2018 That adds up to about four additional pedestrian deaths on October 31st every year. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Halloween is a scary night to be a pedestrian," 30 Oct. 2018 The group also said a pedestrian death in Arizona involving an Uber autonomous vehicle shows the dangers of testing self-driving vehicles on public roads. Tom Krisher, Fox News, "Semi-autonomous car safety systems flawed, study finds," 7 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The number of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. reached a nearly 30-year high in 2018, according to a report being released Thursday that points to smartphone distraction and the growing prevalence of SUVs as possible factors. Scott Calvert, WSJ, "Pedestrian Deaths Reach Highest Level in Nearly 30 Years," 28 Feb. 2019 This pedestrian-friendly medieval town features vibrantly colored buildings in yellows, pinks, and greens that are just begging to be photographed. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 25 most colorful cities in the world," 19 Feb. 2019 In Moscow, the mayor fired the director of the city’s renowned Gorky Park after 13 people were injured when a wooden pedestrian bridge packed with New Year’s celebrants collapsed. Jim Heintz, The Seattle Times, "Russian baby rescued after nearly 36 hours in frozen rubble," 2 Jan. 2019 Colonial Drive will be closed overnight Saturday between Orange and Garland avenues as crews swing a truss into place for a new pedestrian bridge over the busy road. Ryan Gillespie,, "Pedestrian bridge to take shape as steel truss is installed during Colonial Drive closure," 12 July 2018 This Mike Thompson animation shows that SUVs play a role in the spike of pedestrian deaths over the past several years. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "3 out of 4 car deaths over Fourth of July holiday were pedestrians," 5 July 2018 Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% 0:00 / 1:49 Intersection of Change Advertisement Students at Fort Worth's Applied Learning Academy are working with regional transportation officials to create a more pedestrian-friendly area. Diane Smith, star-telegram, "Texas Attorney General demands access to Fort Worth sex ed curriculum," 29 June 2018 Those recommendations sought to address the lack of pedestrian-friendly, landscaped streets and sidewalks and notable shortage of entertainment or restaurant amenities, especially after dark. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Most agree, area near OP Convention Center is dull. Here's how city hopes to fix that," 20 June 2018 Part of the project also will add onto the southern portion of RiverEdge Park, creating a southern entrance and a beer concession stand, as well as a pedestrian bridge over the Fox River. David Sharos, Aurora Beacon-News, "Blues on the Fox kicks off year of change at RiverEdge Park," 14 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of pedestrian


1716, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1770, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pedestrian

Adjective and Noun

Latin pedestr-, pedester, literally, going on foot, from ped-, pes foot — more at foot

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Statistics for pedestrian

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pedestrian

The first known use of pedestrian was in 1716

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More Definitions for pedestrian



English Language Learners Definition of pedestrian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not interesting or unusual
: relating to or designed for people who are walking



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

: a person who is walking in a city, along a road, etc.


pe·​des·​tri·​an | \ pə-ˈdes-trē-ən How to pronounce pedestrian (audio) \

Kids Definition of pedestrian

: a person who is walking

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