before 900; (v.) Middle Englishtreden,Old Englishtredan; cognate with Old Frisiantreda,Old Saxontredan,Dutchtreden,Germantreten; akin to Old Norsetrotha,Gothictrudan; (noun) Middle Englishtred footprint, derivative of the v.
O.E. tredan (class V strong verb; past tense træd, pp. treden), from P.Gmc. *tredanan (cf. O.Fris. treda, M.Du. treden, O.H.G. tretan, Ger. treten, Goth. trudan, O.N. troða). The noun is recorded from early 13c., from the verb; in reference to automobile tires, it is recorded from 1906. Treadmill invented (and named) 1822 by William Cubitt of Ipswich, England; originally an instrument of prison discipline.