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mo·​ped ˈmō-ˌped How to pronounce moped (audio)
plural mopeds
: a lightweight, low-powered motorbike that can be pedaled
The difference between a moped and a scooter is like the difference between an economy car and full-sized coupe. A scooter has comfy footrests instead of pedals and a luxurious seat seemingly long enough to accommodate a family of four.Kelly Whiteside
broadly : any low-powered motorbike
The Motorman may fit the legal definition of a moped, but it has no pedals. The drivetrain is fully electric. Rene Chun
A moped is defined as either a pedal bicycle with a helper motor or a non-pedal bicycle with a motor, which has all of the following characteristics: Have a cylinder capacity of no more than 50 cubic centimeters. Have an automatic transmission. Be capable of a maximum speed of no more than 30 miles per hour. Comply with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.


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past tense of mope entry 1

Examples of moped in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
There were over 280 million electric mopeds, scooters, motorcycles, and three-wheelers on the road last year. The Conversation, Ars Technica, 18 Nov. 2023 On Wednesday, a man on a moped arrived in the late afternoon and about a dozen users ambled over to purchase drugs with dollar bills in their hands. Wesley Parnell, New York Times, 24 Sep. 2023 Describing security footage reviewed by detectives, the report alleges the owner of the moped ran after them. Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2023 Birds chirped outside, blocking out the city’s nearly constant drone of mopeds. Jeremy Redmon, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Oct. 2023 But in an outburst as sprawling as any in years, protesters waved Palestinian flags atop mopeds in Beirut, outside the U.S. Embassy in Jordan and on a storied Tunisian boulevard. Mohamad El Chamaa, Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2023 But the demand for food delivery, the ballooning migrant crisis, and the unchecked black market for mopeds seems to outmatch any rules or enforcement. John Surico, Curbed, 16 Oct. 2023 That Saturday, a moped was stolen outside the Hall. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, 13 Oct. 2023 Already this year, the N.Y.P.D. has seized more than 7,000 mopeds. Andrew Silverstein, New York Times, 15 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Swedish, from motor motor + pedal pedal

First Known Use


1954, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of moped was in 1954

Dictionary Entries Near moped

Cite this Entry

“Moped.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


mo·​ped ˈmō-ˌped How to pronounce moped (audio)
: a lightweight low-powered motorbike that can be pedaled

More from Merriam-Webster on moped

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