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

1. To press down the accelerator (of an automobile) as far as possible; to accelerate to or travel at the 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!
2. By extension, to do something with maximum speed or effort. Put the pedal to the metal, boys—we need to get these packages shipped by the end of the day.
See also: metal, pedal, put

pedal to the metal

1. Drive as fast as you can; push the accelerator down. We're going to be late—pedal to the medal!
2. Do something with maximum speed or effort. Pedal to the metal, boys—we need to get these packages shipped by the end of the day.
See also: metal, pedal

with the pedal to the metal

1. Pressing down the accelerator (of an automobile) as far as possible in order to accelerate to or travel at the maximum speed. With the pedal to the metal, we peeled away from the bank and sped off onto the highway.
2. By extension, with maximum speed or effort. We packed the last of the shipments with the pedal to the metal so we could get done on time.
See also: metal, pedal

soft pedal

That which dampens, diminishes, or downplays the importance or impact of something. Hyphenated if used before a noun as a modifier. It's unsurprising to me that the board decided to apply a soft pedal to our plans for expansion, giving the recent uncertainty in the market. The president's plan has been criticized as a soft-pedal approach to dealing with the potential of nuclear weapons in an already turbulent region.
See also: pedal, soft

soft-pedal (something)

To dampen, diminish, or downplay the importance or impact of something. An allusion to the dampening effects of a piano's soft pedal. You really need to soft-pedal your rhetoric if you want to win over enough mainstream voters to get re-elected. The university has been soft-pedaling its association with the controversial activist in recent months.

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 ?
Pedal desks "could have the potential to achieve public and occupational health goals in sedentary work environments", he said.
When they've worked their magic, the pedal shouldn't travel down as far before your vehicle stops.
In the early 1900s, pedal cars were very popular and found almost everywhere, especially in the heartlands of car manufacturing powerhouses like America, Britain, Italy and France.
Dave designed the effect pedals for ease of use, using only one knob to control the effects.
The most obvious vehicle factors associated with pedal errors were identified and largely corrected in 1990 when brake-to-shift interlocks (BTSI) became mandatory (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 114).
Personal cycling shoes with cleats fixed to clipless pedals (RXS, Times, Nevers, France or Keo, Look, Nevers, France) were used in the clipless condition and personal standard jogging shoes were put to a standard pedal with no attachment in the simple pedal condition.
Bosch said extra fuel savings are possible when the pedal is used with stop-start coasting, and estimates that the engine could be stopped in this way on 30% of all journeys.
Are there any places where I could have a longer pedal for a special sonorous effect?
Pedal party tours are popping up across the country.
Play on Pedals is a partnership between the national cycling charity CTC, Cycling Scotland, the Glasgow Bike Station and Play Scotland, and was recognised by Glasgow City Council as a communitybased Commonwealth Games Legacy project.
A survey of teachers at schools that took part in last year's Big Pedal revealed 76% said that pupils continued to cycle and scoot to school following the event; 39% said that pupils who took part were noticeably happier throughout the day; and 29% said the event reduced traffic congestion around the school.
A MOTOR trade worker from Huddersfield is swapping horsepower for pedal power as he saddles up for Town's latest Pedal 4 Pounds bike ride.
Guitar Effects Pedals: The Practical Handbook provides an updated, expanded version to the basic guide and explores the entire booming pedal market for musicians who want to know more about reverb, overdrive, manual vibrato and much more.
In gastropods, the pedal sole is used for locomotion, with either ciliary beating or muscular locomotory waves.
Design firm Pedal Power has created two cycling generators that produce electrical power known as Big Rig and Pedal Genny and while pedaled by an average adult, would produce up to 100 watts of electricity which can easy charge a laptop or cell phone.