ped·al1 / ˈpedl/ • n. a foot-operated lever or control for a vehicle, musical instrument, or other mechanism, in particular: ∎ each of a pair of cranks used for powering a bicycle or other vehicle propelled by leg power. ∎ a foot-operated throttle, brake, or clutch control in a motor vehicle. ∎ each of a set of two or three levers on a piano, particularly (alsosustaining pedal) one that, when depressed by the foot, prevents the dampers from stopping the sound when the keys are released. The second is thesoft pedal; a third, if present, produces either selective sustaining or complete muffling of the tone. ∎ Mus. (usu. pedals) each key of an organ keyboard that is played with the feet. ∎ Mus. short for pedal note (sense 2).• v. (ped·aled, ped·al·ing; Brit. ped·alled, ped·al·ling) [intr.] move by working the pedals of a bicycle: they pedaled along the canal towpath. ∎ [tr.] move (a bicycle) by working its pedals: she was pedaling a bicycle around town. ∎ [intr.] work the pedals of a bicycle: he was coming down the path on his bike, pedaling hard. ∎ [intr.] use the pedals of a piano, esp. in a particular style: [as n.] (pedaling) Chopin gave no indications of pedaling in his manuscript. PHRASES: with the pedal to the metal inf. with the accelerator of a car pressed to the floor.DERIVATIVES: ped·al·er (Brit. ped·al·ler) n.ped·al2 / ˈpēdl/ • adj. chiefly Med. Zool. of or relating to the foot or feet.
1. In harmony, a note sustained below changing harmonies and called a pedal-point or pedal-bass. If sustained but not in the bass, it is an inverted pedal.
2. Lowest, i.e. fundamental, note of harmonic series, esp. in brass instrs.
3. Lever operated by the foot, as in hp., hpd., kettledrum, org., and pf.