pedal

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backpedal

To quickly and often abruptly reverse or retreat from one's position or opinion on a given subject. Refers to pedaling backwards on a bicycle (done to apply the brakes on fixed-gear bikes), or to taking quick, backward steps, as in football or boxing. The actor had to backpedal when he let slip a racist remark during the press conference.

put the pedal to the metal

To press down the accelerator (of an automobile) as far as possible; to accelerate to or travel at an automobile's maximum speed. It would normally take us three days driving to New York from Colorado, but with my brother putting the pedal to the metal, we made it in two. We're going to be late—put the pedal to the medal!
See also: metal, pedal, put

Pedal to the metal!

Drive the car as fast as you can! We're going to be late—pedal to the medal!
See also: pedal

with the pedal to the metal

Of driving a car, as quickly as possible. With the pedal to the metal, we peeled away from the bank and sped off onto the highway.
See also: metal, pedal

put the pedal to the metal

Sl. to press a car's accelerator to the floor; to drive very fast. Let's go, man. Put the pedal to the metal. Put the pedal to the metal, and we'll make up some lost time.
See also: metal, pedal, put

soft-pedal something

to play something down; to de-emphasize something. (Alludes to the soft pedal on the piano, which reduces the volume.) Try to soft-pedal the problems we have with the cooling system. I won't soft-pedal anything. Everyone must know the truth.

soft pedal

Something that de-emphasizes, restrains, or plays down, as in The mayor put a soft pedal on this potentially explosive situation. This expression alludes to the una corda or soft pedal of the piano, which reduces the volume of the sound. It gave rise to the verb soft-pedal, meaning both "reduce the volume of" or "make less emphatic, downplay." [Early 1900s]
See also: pedal, soft

put the pedal to the metal

INFORMAL
If you put the pedal to the metal, you do something with as much speed and effort as possible. He is putting the pedal to the metal to deal with his critics. Note: Other verbs such as keep and have are sometimes used instead of put. Our players kept the pedal to the metal all season long. Note: This expression comes from the idea of pressing a car's accelerator (= pedal that makes it go faster).
See also: metal, pedal, put

with the pedal to the metal

with the accelerator of a car pressed to the floor. North American informal
See also: metal, pedal

keep/put the ˌpedal to the ˈmetal

(American English, informal)
1 drive a car quickly: Look, we’re running a little late so we kind of need to put the pedal to the metal.
2 work hard; try to do something quickly: If we really put the pedal to the metal, Canada’s economy could certainly produce a third more than it does today.
Pedal in this idiom refers to the flat bar in a car that you press with your foot in order to make the car move more quickly (= the accelerator/gas pedal). The metal is the floor of the car.
See also: keep, metal, pedal, put

put the pedal to the metal

tv. to press a car’s accelerator to the floor; to floor it. Put the pedal to the metal, and we’re out of here.
See also: metal, pedal, put

soft pedal something

tv. to play something down; to de-emphasize something. (Refers to the soft pedal on the piano.) Try to soft pedal the problems we have with the cooling system.
See also: pedal, soft, something
References in periodicals archive ?
Bicyclists can continue from here down to the bridge overlook and on to Fort Point, but narrow road shoulders, blind curves and intersections, and busy weekend traffic make this a dangerous option for children and other inexperienced pedalers.
June 1 - 40- or 66-mile road ride with Seven Hills Wheelmen and Nashoba Valley Pedalers.
They've got the best seats in the house," Villalobos said of the volunteer pedalers.
There are choices for any rider, from Sunday afternoon pedalers to those who like to test their mettle on steep, rock-strewn back roads.
10 - Nashoba Valley Pedalers Fall Century Classic: Ride lengths of 25, 50, 75 and 100 miles, all of which start at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, 390 Lincoln Road, Sudbury (This is a new starting site this year).
on your own or with a group Following the spine of the Canadian Rockies between Banff and Jasper, Alberta, a pair of parkways offer outstanding alpine biking for both long-distance and poke-along pedalers.
The Nashoba Valley Pedalers has many rides planned that sweep though leaf peeping areas, including a group ride through the Stow-Bolton area today and a hilly Harvard loop next Saturday called Giro di Harvard.
Suddenly, the 16-year-old Pedalers Express bicycle cargo delivery business is reporting an uptick in pickup and delivery orders.
We're just able to offer a better price than our competitors," said Quinn Keogh, manager for Pedalers Express, which is an arm of the nonprofit Center for Appropriate Transport near downtown Eugene.
Pedalers Express delivers everything from organic vegetables to legal documents to newspapers in a geography that reaches from west Eugene to downtown Springfield.
And Eugene is not about to rest on its hard, pointy, Lycra-covered saddle: Resident pedalers have big dreams and concrete plans for bike path extensions to crisscross the countryside.
If horseback riders can get out of the weather, then climbers, paddlers, pedalers, golfers, skaters, runners, walkers and other active folks must have some way to take refuge from the storm.
The three father-and-son duos have formed the first-ever Paxton Pedalers team.
The Paxton Pedalers will ride in honor of Daniel "D" Depatie, a 5-year-old boy with neuroblastoma.
The Paxton Pedalers team has set its goal at $20,000 and has already raised close to half of that amount.