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See more synonyms for treadle on Thesaurus.com
  1. a lever or the like worked by continual action of the foot to impart motion to a machine.
  2. a platform, as on a bus or trolleycar, for opening an exit door.
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verb (used without object), trea·dled, trea·dling.
  1. to work a treadle.
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Origin of treadle

before 1000; Middle English tredel stairstep, Old English. See tread, -le
Related formstread·ler [tred-ler] /ˈtrɛd lər/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for treadle


    1. a rocking lever operated by the foot to drive a machine
    2. (as modifier)a treadle sewing machine
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  1. to work (a machine) with a treadle
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Derived Formstreadler, noun

Word Origin

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper