Main definitions of pedal in English

: pedal1pedal2

pedal1

Pronunciation /ˈpedl/ /ˈpɛdl/

noun

  • 1Each of a pair of foot-operated levers used for powering a bicycle or other vehicle propelled by the legs.

    • ‘All of this excess motion can rob the cyclist of the power that needs to be delivered to the pedals to drive the bicycle forward.’
    • ‘The rider sits on a saddle, propels the vehicle by means of pedals, and steers with handlebars on the front wheel.’
    • ‘It's more important for a race bike to actively absorb washboard and roots so riders can stay seated, powering the pedals to the finish line.’
    • ‘That's the best position to use gravity to your advantage by letting your weight drop down onto the pedals and power you up the climb.’
    • ‘I put more power to the pedals, but my legs felt heavy and Annie climbed away, now 20 yards ahead.’
    • ‘However, every pair of pedals except his bent ones felt weird to him!’
    • ‘The vixen had a small white tip to her tail, and also a splash of white on the front of each paw which caused her feet to flicker in the bright glare like reflectors on bicycle pedals.’
    • ‘When he stands on the pedals of a trainer-mounted bicycle, he has a healthy saturation level.’
    • ‘The pedal of his bicycle tore into the calf of his leg and he required two operations, on Friday and Saturday, to clean and stitch the gaping wound.’
    • ‘Pedaling was accomplished by levers or off-set pedals, and gearing was added, thus compensating for speed loss.’
    • ‘The pedals and gear lever are ideally placed, adding to the agreeable feeling of a design thoroughly researched and carefully implemented.’
    • ‘She grabbed the small bike from its resting place against the chimney and with one foot on the pedal propelled it to the gate.’
    • ‘I was wobbly and unsure of myself as I pushed down on the pedal, propelling the bike slowly forward.’
    • ‘If the water is real deep, try ratcheting your pedals by doing quarter pedal strokes.’
    • ‘It's time to get a new pair of mountain bike pedals and I was wondering how I can find out which ones have truly free float.’
    • ‘When you stop pedaling, level the pedals so you can more easily shift your weight to steer, instead of moving the bar.’
    • ‘This triangle represents the three spots of contact we have with our bicycles; the handlebars, the seat, and the pedals.’
    • ‘He paused to adjust his gear lever and glance down at his pedals.’
    • ‘I removed the pedals, brakes, cables, the front tire and the straight handlebar.’
    • ‘Another moviegoer left his shoes, and a third his bike pedal.’
  • 2A foot-operated throttle, brake, or clutch control in a motor vehicle.

    ‘a brake pedal’
    • ‘The gear lever was at his right hand, the brake in the throttle pedal's usual place.’
    • ‘Second, the brake and master cylinder rotate as the front end deforms, moving the clutch and brake pedal forward.’
    • ‘Further tests are planned on gas, brake and clutch pedals.’
    • ‘‘A lot of people use the clutch and the brake pedal in the wrong order,’ said Smyth.’
    • ‘His feet buried the clutch and brake pedal into the floorboard.’
    • ‘There is lots of power but I found the accelerator and brake pedals were too close together.’
    • ‘I'd also like a brake pedal rather than a brake switch.’
    • ‘The large flat dash and the amount of room given to the driver, including acres of space beside the clutch pedal, add to this feeling.’
    • ‘The throttle pedal is smooth and not at all jerky.’
    • ‘The engine could then be restarted when the driver takes his foot off the brake pedal.’
    • ‘This has resulted in the car getting a whole new steering system and a slightly revised brake pedal with shorter travel.’
    • ‘I shall not be able to manage a clutch pedal and stick shift for ever, and I know it.’
    • ‘Initially I had trouble with the accelerator and brake pedals.’
    • ‘Skelton said investigators determined that a large rock was put on the gas pedal, the vehicle slipped into gear and sent over a cliff.’
    • ‘Ford also has stressed new adjustable pedals for making the vehicles more comfortable for women drivers.’
    • ‘The driving position is exceptionally comfortable, with everything from steering wheel to seat to pedals to gear lever ideally positioned for the average person.’
    • ‘All he did was touch the clutch while going downhill, instead of keeping his feet well clear of the pedals and allowing the vehicle to trundle down in low-ratio first gear.’
    • ‘Things I really liked about the interior include the power adjustable pedals, easy fold rear seats, and a truly fab navigation system.’
    • ‘He thrusts the gas pedal to the floor and it burns rubber and takes off.’
    • ‘The driving position is pretty good, even if the pedals are a little offset to the left.’
  • 3Each of a set of two or three levers on a piano, particularly (also sustaining pedal) one that, when depressed by the foot, prevents the dampers from stopping the sound when the keys are released. The second is the soft pedal; a third, if present, produces either selective sustaining or complete muffling of the tone.

    • ‘The basic notes of his music are very few and usually surrounded by a haze of the overtones created by the damper pedal of the piano.’
    • ‘During performance, most students will need to stand while depressing the damper pedal to access the interior of the piano.’
    • ‘I took this opportunity, not only to answer her question and remind her of the proper name for the damper pedal, but also to explore the piano and how it worked.’
    • ‘Frequently the pedal of the piano is held down for many minutes.’
    • ‘We may not reach sight reading at all during his lesson because he needs so much help using the damper pedal correctly during one of his repertoire pieces.’
    • ‘Bobby battled through a concert even though gout prevented him from working the piano's pedals.’
    • ‘I took the speaker and sat it on the sustain pedal of a grand piano so the strings were all open.’
    • ‘Technically, Miss Stein's economy of commas may be compared with a complete renunciation of the pedal in playing the piano.’
    • ‘Today I asked your child to depress the right pedal, to stop the action of the dampers so that the strings could vibrate freely.’
    • ‘The big sounds of Brahms go out in smudges, the pedals drowning them in an effort to be loud and large.’
    • ‘When she played Satie on her own, I noticed she used the sustaining pedal sparingly.’
    • ‘He uses rubato more liberally, and also the sustaining pedal.’
    • ‘Part of Gould's achievement is that his refusal to use the sustaining pedal puts the guts back into Bach.’
    • ‘Some of the tonal increases, however require better use of the sustaining pedal.’
    • ‘In this period the piano was beginning to replace the harpsichord and clavichord in popularity, and allowed for new experimental sonorities and the use of the sustaining pedal.’
    • ‘The recordings capture the sound of his fingers on the keys, the depression of the pedals, and the click of the microphone as it turns off.’
    • ‘He could sustain long, singing legato lines without becoming dependent on the pedal.’
    • ‘Arrange your feet on the soft and sustaining pedals in readiness to carry out instructions - always clearly marked in the score.’
    • ‘She also is unafraid to be generous with the pedal, yet clarity isn't sacrificed.’
    • ‘The pedal plays a large role in creating a musical perception of legato, and for small-handed pianists, it is indispensable.’
    1. 3.1usually pedalsEach key of an organ keyboard that is played with the feet.
      • ‘The same format was often imitated at the organ, the pedal taking the bass and the manuals the treble lines.’
      • ‘This implementation enables you to create a true dual-manual organ with bass pedals, a swell pedal and faders to control the drawbars.’
      • ‘I understand that some of the older organs have quite short pedals, which meant you had to always play with the toes and not the heel.’
      • ‘He was replaced by guitarist Paul Ducann, whilst Crane took up bass duties using the bass pedals of his trusty Hammond organ.’
      • ‘This Hassler's chief excellence on the organ consists in his foot-work, which, since the pedals are graded here, is not so very wonderful.’
      • ‘The organ is played with the help of keyboard and foot pedals.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, you are perched in a pleasant enough, mildly elevated driving position whose only disadvantage is that it causes you to stamp down on the foot controls slightly, as if you were operating the pedals on a church organ.’
      • ‘It is usually associated with the organ, although it proves originally to have been intended for the harpsichord with pedals.’
      lever, arm, bar, pedal
    2. 3.2
      short for pedal note

verbpedals, pedaling, pedaled, pedalling, pedalled

  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction Move by working the pedals of a bicycle.

    ‘they pedaled along the canal towpath’
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Move (a bicycle) by working its pedals.
      ‘she was pedaling a bicycle around town’
    2. 1.2no object Work the pedals of a bicycle.
      ‘he was coming down the path on his bike, pedaling hard’
  • 2no object Use the pedals of a piano, organ, or other keyboard instrument, especially in a particular style.

    ‘the organist pedaled furiously, her feet travelling musical miles’

Usage

People often confuse the words pedal and peddle. Pedal is a noun referring to a foot-operated lever, as on a bicycle, and a verb chiefly meaning ‘move by working the pedals of a bicycle’ (they pedaled along the road). Peddle, on the other hand, is a verb meaning ‘sell goods or promote an idea’ (he peddled printing materials around the country she peddled a ludicrously utopian view of the past). The related words peddler and pedaler are also confused. A peddler (also spelled pedlar, especially in Britain) is a person who goes from place to place selling goods, while a pedaler (or, in Britain, a pedaller) is someone who rides a bike

Phrases

    with the pedal to the metal
    North American informal
    • With the accelerator of a car pressed to the floor.

      ‘she loved careening down the highway with the pedal to the metal’
      ‘southern Nevada's ethic of pedal-to-the-metal growth’
      • ‘Without so much as flinching, Bri had the car in drive and was screeching out of the parking lot with the pedal to the metal.’
      • ‘So what if he gets driven around with the pedal to the metal?’

Origin

Early 17th century (denoting a foot-operated lever of an organ): from French pédale, from Italian pedale, from Latin pedalis ‘a foot in length’, from pes, ped- ‘foot’.

Pronunciation

pedal

/ˈpedl/ /ˈpɛdl/

Main definitions of pedal in English

: pedal1pedal2

pedal2

Pronunciation /ˈpēdl/ /ˈpidl/

adjective

Physiology Zoology
  • Relating to the foot or feet.

    • ‘Scaphopods burrow by projecting their foot into the substrate and contracting pedal retractor muscles to pull the animal downward.’
    • ‘Most actinarians are sessile; that is, they live attached to rocks or other substrates and do not move, or move only very slowly by contractions of the pedal disk.’
    • ‘Near the pedal ganglia is a pair of statocysts, which are ovid or spherical.’
    • ‘The legendary Arkle was the King George VI champion in 1965 but during the following year's race he broke a pedal bone.’
    • ‘There was some pedal oedema with good pedal pulses.’

Origin

Early 17th century from Latin pedalis, from pes, ped- ‘foot’.

Pronunciation

pedal

/ˈpēdl/ /ˈpidl/