a. A foot-operated lever used for actuating or controlling a mechanism, as in a loom, sewing machine, piano, or organ.
b. A similar foot-operated part attached to a crank and used for powering various devices, such as a bicycle.
a. A pedal point.
b. A pedal keyboard.
1. Of or relating to a pedal.
2. (also pēdl) Of or relating to a foot or footlike part: the pedal extremities.
v. ped·aled, ped·al·ing, ped·als or ped·alled or ped·al·ling
1. To use or operate a pedal or pedals.
2. To ride a bicycle.
To operate the pedals of.
[French pédale, from Italian pedale, from Latin pedālis, one foot long, from pēs, ped-, foot; see ped- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
pedal·er, pedal·ler n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.