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 ?
The No Reserve pedal car auction will sit alongside the 'Affordable Classics' event where over 100 rare and low-mileage models will go up for grabs from Britain's most revered classic marques.
The e-Pedal control allows drivers to use and step on the accelerator pedal to accelerate, decelerate and stop.
Individual Guitar Pedal Information and a Media Kit are Available at the Scary Pedals Website.
If contact with the right foot and depression of both pedals occurred simultaneously at any point, it was classified as both pedals pressed.
Pedals has gained coverage on news networks with his walking, but Joey says that this has not changed the minds of the local New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife still which, he says, has "refused to allow him to get help".
(1999a) The effect of clip-less pedals on mechanical characteristics measured during sprinting on a non-isokinetic cycle ergometer.
Anne Glass already works on a number of voluntary projects, and was initially keen to be trained as a Play on Pedals instructor, but has done much more to develop cycling in Drumchapel in the last five months.
A failed snap ring allowed the rudder-pedal interconnecting rod to slide out of its attachment, which caused the rudder pedal to fail.
Then, adjust the pedal linkage so there's 18 5/8 to 18 7/8 inches between the brake pedal face and the front of the seat support.
Ron Fratzke owes his pedal tractor collection to a dumpster.
Used to control machinery and other equipment, the switches are available in KG thermoplastic and KR metal models, with or without pedal protection cover.
Global Banking News-July 25, 2011--BOSCH - Sensor series for electric brake pedals; New Bosch pedal travel sensor for hybrid and electric vehicles(C)2011 ENPublishing - http://www.enpublishing.co.uk
16 The steering wheel is done, so let's move into the footwell and get busy on the pedals.
said Thursday it will voluntarily recall about 2.39 million vehicles globally, including 2.17 million in the United States, saying that the operation of accelerator pedals could be interfered by floor mats.
The device includes a set of pedals that can be set up in front of most office chairs and used while a person is seated.