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 ?
The used of the two type of shoe-pedal interfaces allows to complete our results by separating the effect of non-circular chainring on the pedalling kinetics only during the downstroke phase (simple pedal without linkage) and during both downstroke and upstroke phases (clipless).
Present benefits provided by the non-circular chainring on pedalling kinetics occurred only at high cadences.
1999b) Optimal pedalling characteristics during maximal and submaximal cycling in humans.
2008) A theoretical analysis of an optimal chainring shape to maximize crank power during isokinetic pedalling.
Steibelt published his own Methode in 1809, five years after Louis Adam's Methode de piano du Conservatoire; the chapters on pedalling in both tutors are included in the appendix.
The blurring of harmony which occurs when the sustaining pedal is kept down, often designated as 'open pedal', is an alien sound to modern ears, but to judge from contemporary pedalling indications this was a much desired effect.
The interaction between the conventions of Viennese and London composers is most potent in the case of Beethoven, whose pedalling practices Rowland sees as more idiosyncratic than typical.
The Romantic pianism of Field's nocturnes occurred at a time when pedalling practice was also changing to the 'syncopated' style we use today.