pedestrian

adjective
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

pedestrian

noun

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

Adjective

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

Noun

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

After more than 30 years of declining pedestrian fatalities, the number began to climb in 2010. Los Angeles Times, "Pedestrians die every 90 minutes in the U.S., and low-income areas are hurt most," 16 Sep. 2019 Youssefi’s death was the 12th pedestrian fatality in Fairfax this year. Washington Post, "Missing Fairfax teacher is found dead," 25 Aug. 2019 If just pedestrian fatalities are considered, those adults account for 26% of deaths from 2015 through this month. oregonlive.com, "More pedestrians 65 or older are dying on Portland streets, city analysis says," 31 July 2019 In North Miami, there were seven pedestrian fatalities on the Northwest 79th Street corridor and one on North Miami Avenue in a hotspot located in the Little River neighborhood. USA TODAY, "Death on foot: Where you're most likely to die in the 5 most dangerous cities," 3 July 2018 Last year set a record for the most pedestrian fatalities, with 27 deaths. Steve Harrison And Gavin Off, charlotteobserver, "Residents say a death 'has to happen for the city to make changes.' They may be right.," 19 June 2018 Last month, several of these factors tracked by the agency played a role in a pedestrian fatality in Putnam County. Scott Rodd, The Christian Science Monitor, "Florida addresses pedestrian fatalities with engineering strategy," 16 May 2018 Safety experts are looking at some other potential explanations for rising pedestrian fatalities. NBC News, "What's behind the 81 percent rise in pedestrians killed by SUVs?," 15 May 2018 In March, a self-driving Uber vehicle fatally struck a woman as she was crossed a street in Tempe, the first pedestrian fatality linked to a self-driving vehicle. CBS News, "Waymo self-driving SUV involved in crash in Chandler, Arizona," 4 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Fifty-five pedestrians were critically hurt in crashes last year, according to the Department of Public Health. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Surge of critical injuries on SF’s streets mirrors spike in fatalities," 16 Sep. 2019 Nearly 40,000 pedestrians have died since, according to federal data. Los Angeles Times, "Pedestrians die every 90 minutes in the U.S., and low-income areas are hurt most," 16 Sep. 2019 As of Friday, pedestrians in downtown New Britain can get a quick lesson about how a non-descript Main Street property has plenty of history behind it. Don Stacom, courant.com, "More than 165 years later, New Britain honors CCSU as state’s first integrated university," 13 Sep. 2019 The drums and bullhorns are gone now, and about 10 picketers marched quietly Wednesday morning, pausing to let pedestrians pass on the sidewalk. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "Thousands of workers at 26 Chicago hotels went on strike in September 2018. A year later, at one hotel they’re still walking picket lines.," 12 Sep. 2019 Hillsboro Police and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office have arrested a woman who is suspected of hitting two pedestrians and killing one in January. oregonlive, "North Plains woman, 77, arrested after fatal January hit-and-run," 6 Sep. 2019 This scenario is often imagined for self-driving cars: if the car’s brakes fail, should the autopilot be programmed to kill the driver or swerve and kill five pedestrians? Jenny Anderson, Quartz, "MIT developed a course to teach tweens about the ethics of AI," 4 Sep. 2019 Previously, pedestrians walked along a road in a ditch to reach the Carty Unit. USA TODAY, "Record grapefruit, light rail win, Snake Road: News from around our 50 states," 29 Aug. 2019 In either case, pedestrians have to cross Superior, a curving, divided road with four travel lanes and three turn lanes to connect motorists to the even wider and faster Coast Highway. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Proposed bridge would connect Newport Beach parks, help pedestrians avoid busy Coast Highway crossing," 16 Aug. 2019

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

Adjective

1716, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

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

9 Oct 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

pedestrian

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of pedestrian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

pedestrian

noun

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

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

pedestrian

noun
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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Comments on pedestrian

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