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[puh-des-tree-uh n] /pəˈdɛs tri ən/
a person who goes or travels on foot; walker.
going or performed on foot; walking.
of or relating to walking.
lacking in vitality, imagination, distinction, etc.; commonplace; prosaic or dull:
a pedestrian commencement speech.
Origin of pedestrian
1710-20; < Latin pedestri- (stem of pedester on foot, derivative of pēs (stem ped-); see pedi-) + -an
Related forms
nonpedestrian, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pedestrian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Presently we overtook a pedestrian, and Master invited him to ride.

    White Dandy; or, Master and I Velma Caldwell Melville
  • The pedestrian alone, of all travellers, is thus taken by the hand by Fortune.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • At low tide, the Crescent could be easily reached by any pedestrian.

    Fighting the Sea Edward A. Rand
  • If Captain Anthony (Roderick) had been a pedestrian it would have been sufficient; but he was not.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • The windows that look on to the street are heavily barred and none are within reach of the pedestrian.

    Cathedral Cities of Spain William Wiehe Collins
British Dictionary definitions for pedestrian


  1. a person travelling on foot; walker
  2. (as modifier): a pedestrian precinct
dull; commonplace: a pedestrian style of writing
Word Origin
C18: from Latin pedester, from pēs foot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pedestrian

1716, "prosaic, dull" (of writing), from Latin pedester (genitive pedestris) "plain, not versified, prosaic," literally "on foot" (sense contrasted with equester "on horseback"), from pedes "one who goes on foot," from pes (genitive pedis) "foot" (see foot (n.)). Meaning "going on foot" is first attested 1791 in English (it also was a sense of Latin pedester). The earlier adjective in English was pedestrial (1610s).


"walker," 1793, from pedestrian (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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