Definitions

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A lever designed to be moved by the foot to impart motion to a machine, as a lathe, sewing-machine, or bicycle.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a lever that is operated with the foot
  • v. tread over
  • v. operate (machinery) by a treadle

Etymologies

Middle English tredel, from Old English, step of a stair, from tredan, to tread.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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