Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A foot-operated lever used for actuating or controlling a mechanism, as in a loom, sewing machine, piano, or organ.
  • n. A similar foot-operated part attached to a crank and used for powering various devices, such as a bicycle.
  • n. Music A pedal point.
  • n. Music A pedal keyboard.
  • adj. Of or relating to a pedal.
  • adj. Of or relating to a foot or footlike part: the pedal extremities.
  • intransitive v. To use or operate a pedal or pedals.
  • intransitive v. To ride a bicycle.
  • transitive v. To operate the pedals of.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lever operated by one's foot that is used to control a machine or mechanism, such as a bicycle or piano
  • n. a foot or footlike part.
  • v. To operate a pedal attached to a wheel in a continuous circular motion.
  • v. To operate a bicycle.
  • adj. Of or relating to the foot.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the foot, or to feet, literally or figuratively; specifically (Zoöl.), pertaining to the foot of a mollusk.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to a pedal; having pedals.
  • n. A lever or key acted on by the foot, as in the pianoforte to raise the dampers, or in the organ to open and close certain pipes; a treadle, as in a lathe or a bicycle.
  • n. A pedal curve or surface.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or connected with a foot or the feet: as, pedal extremities.
  • Technically— Of or pertaining to a foot-like part of the body, as of a mollusk; podial: as, a pedal ganglion.
  • Of or pertaining to the pes or hind foot only: opposed to manual.
  • Pertaining to the feet of perpendiculars let fall from one point upon tangents to a fixed locus called a basis.
  • 4 (ped′ al). In music, relating to a pedal.
  • In conchology: Any muscle of the foot or podium of a univalve. The posterior adductor of a bivalve, when there are two. See cuts under Astartidæ and Tridaenidæ.
  • n. Any part of a machine or apparatus which is intended to receive and transmit power from the foot of the operator; a treadle: as, the pedals of a bicycle.
  • n. In musical instruments, a foot-lever; a metal or wooden key or projecting bar operated by the foot. , ,
  • n. Same as organ-point.
  • n. A pedal curve or surface, or one of which another is the pedal curve or surface.
  • To work a pedal; use the pedals, as of a piano, organ, bicycle, etc.
  • In geometry, pertaining to the feet of transversals on to the sides of a triangle through a given point and the vertices.
  • n. In geometry, a pedal triangle (which see, under triangle).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a lever that is operated with the foot
  • n. a sustained bass note
  • adj. of or relating to the feet
  • v. operate the pedals on a keyboard instrument
  • v. ride a bicycle

Etymologies

French pédale, from Italian pedale, from Latin pedālis, one foot long, from pēs, ped-, foot; see ped- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French pédale, Italian pedale, Latin pedālis (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She often used the term pedal or pedalo-French slang for a homosexual-draping it with condescension, pity, and disapproval.

    Jezebel

  • You may not have ever heard the term pedal notes before, but we're sure you've heard them used in countless solos, and in many different styles of music.

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  • The 'PM' attack on Michal Kaminski featured an extract from that 9-year old interview where Kaminski used the Polish word "pedal", which means "queer, poor, fag".

    DRIPPING POISON

  • What I found the most annoying with the automatic was that even gas pedal is set up differently, so when I was driving trough all those curves on mountain road, it was much harder for me to control the car.

    My first car

  • The accelerator pedal is just a computer mouse you push with your foot.

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  • But yes, we need to be keeping the pedal down on monetary policy (and not to rehash, but the monetary policy pedal is at least almost all the way down to the floor, if not quite there), and also extend the fiscal stimulus with new measures. james Says:

    Matthew Yglesias » Still No Jobs

  • I wanted to re-do the piano track because it was a bit too live (too much sustain pedal), and Rashbre suggested a gritter vocal.

    Grittier Vocal? « We Don't Count Your Own Visits To Your Blog

  • But seriously, driving with one foot on each pedal is not a good idea.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Toyota Facing $16 Million Fine …

  • Imagine you are in a Toyota on the highway at 60 miles per hour approaching stopped traffic, and you find that the brake pedal is broken.

    A Confession

  • It's probably too pat to ascribe Come Around Sundown's gentle back-pedal from the huge success of its predecessor to some Tennessean burglars.

    Kings of Leon: Come Around Sundown – review

Comments

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