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

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 While there, be sure to cross the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America, stretching nearly 700 feet end to end. Andrea Mchugh And Julie Loffredi, USA TODAY, 15 Oct. 2021 Many residents expressed interest in a pedestrian bridge, although officials cautioned that such a bridge could introduce safety concerns. Emily Opilo,, 8 Oct. 2021 The grand prize winner of ArtPrize is an old phone booth on a pedestrian bridge. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 4 Oct. 2021 Lines of laundry hang from a pedestrian bridge that stretches across one of the city’s busiest boulevards. Dallas News, 2 Oct. 2021 Plans there include a pedestrian bridge over the tunnel and a plaza. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 17 Sep. 2021 The other gives details on a new pedestrian bridge project that will replace an at-grade crossing at the railroad tracks near the Metra commuter train station. James T. Norman,, 14 Sep. 2021 People stopped on the sidewalk and a nearby pedestrian bridge to take pictures. WSJ, 11 Sep. 2021 The calls for a pedestrian bridge across I-405 date to the 1970s, when the section of the freeway first opened. oregonlive, 9 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Arizona Department of Public Safety told The Arizona Republic that a vehicle fatally struck a pedestrian around 12:58 a.m. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 12 Oct. 2021 In 2018, a pedestrian crossing the street was killed by a self-driving Uber test car made by Volvo. Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 The plan also describes how East Side neighborhoods could be better connected to the shoreline through improvements in bike and pedestrian paths on East 55th Street, East 72nd Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Steven Litt, cleveland, 1 Oct. 2021 The preliminary proposal includes urban plazas, open spaces and upgrades to pedestrian paths and bike bridges. Ryan Ori,, 30 Sep. 2021 Police cars and two white forensic evidence vans were parked on pedestrian paths., 5 Sep. 2021 Police cars and two white forensic evidence vans were parked on pedestrian paths. Washington Post, 4 Sep. 2021 The Indiana State Fairgrounds is located next to the Monon Trail as well as other bike and pedestrian paths. Claire Rafford, The Indianapolis Star, 29 July 2021 Unlike public roads, where vehicles travel in lanes and their travel patterns are predictable, Yandex vehicles must navigate sidewalks and other pedestrian paths where people’s movements are less orderly. Greg Gardner, Forbes, 6 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for pedestrian

Time Traveler

The first known use of pedestrian was in 1716

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Dictionary Entries Near pedestrian




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Statistics for pedestrian

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pedestrian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for pedestrian



English Language Learners Definition of pedestrian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not interesting or unusual : ordinary
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on pedestrian

Nglish: Translation of pedestrian for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pedestrian for Arabic Speakers


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