Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A pedal or lever operated by the foot for circular drive, as in a potter's wheel or sewing machine.
  • intransitive verb To work a treadle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A lever designed to be moved by the foot to impart motion to a machine, as a lathe, sewing-machine, or bicycle.
  • noun The tough ropy or stringy part of the white of an egg; the chalaza: so called because formerly supposed to be the male sperm. Compare tread, 4.
  • To operate a treadle; specifically, in playing a reed-organ, to operate the feeders by means of the foot-levers or pedals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The part of a foot lathe, or other machine, which is pressed or moved by the foot.
  • noun (Biol.) The chalaza of a bird's egg; the tread.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A foot-operated pedal or lever that generates circular motion.
  • verb To use a treadle.

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

  • noun a lever that is operated with the foot
  • verb tread over
  • verb operate (machinery) by a treadle

Etymologies

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

[Middle English tredel, from Old English, step of a stair, from tredan, to tread.]

Examples

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