[ tred-l ]
/ ˈtrɛd l /


a lever or the like worked by continual action of the foot to impart motion to a machine.
a platform, as on a bus or trolleycar, for opening an exit door.

verb (used without object), trea·dled, trea·dling.

to work a treadle.

Origin of treadle

before 1000; Middle English tredel stairstep, Old English. See tread, -le
Related formstread·ler [tred-ler] /ˈtrɛd lər/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for treadle

British Dictionary definitions for treadle


/ (ˈtrɛdəl) /


  1. a rocking lever operated by the foot to drive a machine
  2. (as modifier)a treadle sewing machine


to work (a machine) with a treadle
Derived Formstreadler, noun

Word Origin for treadle

Old English tredel, from trǣde something firm, from tredan to tread
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 treadle



"lever worked by foot," c.1400, from Old English tredel "step, stair," from tredan "to tread" (see tread) + instrumental suffix -el (cf. handle).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper