[puh-des-tree-uh n]


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 formsnon·pe·des·tri·an, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pedestrian

Contemporary Examples of pedestrian

Historical Examples of pedestrian

  • The pedestrian alone, of all travellers, is thus taken by the hand by Fortune.

    Arthur O'Leary

    Charles James Lever

  • If Captain Anthony (Roderick) had been a pedestrian it would have been sufficient; but he was not.


    Joseph Conrad

  • Every other pedestrian seemed to be a soldier; every other vehicle contained a uniform.

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

  • But surely it is rather the pedestrian who needs this armour?

  • It began when a pedestrian got hit by a cab in New York City.

    Ten From Infinity

    Paul W. Fairman

British Dictionary definitions for pedestrian



  1. a person travelling on foot; walker
  2. (as modifier)a pedestrian precinct


dull; commonplacea pedestrian style of writing

Word Origin for pedestrian

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

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