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See more synonyms for peddling on Thesaurus.com
  1. trifling; paltry; piddling.
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Origin of peddling

First recorded in 1590–1600; peddle + -ing2
Related formsped·dling·ly, adverb


verb (used with object), ped·dled, ped·dling.
  1. to carry (small articles, goods, wares, etc.) from place to place for sale at retail; hawk.
  2. to deal out, distribute, or dispense, especially in small quantities: to peddle radical ideas.
  3. to sell (drugs) illicitly.
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verb (used without object), ped·dled, ped·dling.
  1. to go from place to place with goods, wares, etc., for sale at retail.
  2. to occupy oneself with trifles; trifle.
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Origin of peddle

1525–35; apparently back formation from peddler; in def. 4, reinforced by piddle
Related formsre·ped·dle, verb (used with object), re·ped·dled, re·ped·dling.un·ped·dled, adjective
Can be confusedpedal peddle petal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for peddling

hawk, solicit, canvas, shove, monger, trade, vend, push, market, huckster

Examples from the Web for peddling

Contemporary Examples of peddling

Historical Examples of peddling

British Dictionary definitions for peddling


  1. to go from place to place selling (goods, esp small articles)
  2. (tr) to sell (illegal drugs, esp narcotics)
  3. (tr) to advocate (ideas) persistently or importunatelyto peddle a new philosophy
  4. (intr) archaic to trifle
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Word Origin for peddle

C16: back formation from pedlar
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

Word Origin and History for peddling



"to retail," 1837 in modern use, a colloquial back-formation from peddler. Related: Peddled; peddling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper