Definition of peddle in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Try to sell (something, especially small goods) by going from house to house or place to place.

    ‘he peddled art and printing materials around the country’
    • ‘Nineteenth-century medicine vendors often peddled tonics as a cure-all for symptoms as varied as a mild cough or severe rash.’
    • ‘The smell of strange and exotic spices led us to the huge indoor food market with rows and rows of locals peddling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to nuts, spices and flowers.’
    • ‘Over the past 10 years or so, I have noted the return of Syrian and Lebanese immigrants who peddle goods up and down the country - on foot.’
    • ‘They took to the streets of the inner city to wash cars, sell cakes, peddle perfume, polish shoes and give massages and manicures, all in a bid to make a quick buck.’
    • ‘Hundreds of vendors peddle everything from mutton kebabs and beef soup to fried twisted dough and steamed rose cakes.’
    • ‘The ruined city of Vakith stood deserted, but the distant memory of children playing or merchants peddling their wares echoed in Drakas' ears.’
    • ‘I am still facing totally vindictive charges relating to that little incident with that chap who invaded my doorstep peddling household goods.’
    • ‘These are then peddled in factory canteens and through catalogues at ‘half bookshop price or less’.’
    • ‘It's odd though to be in a building with all of those faces, who for some reason or another have left their mark, who have become iconic enough for postcards of their likeness to be peddled to tourists.’
    • ‘A plethora of street vendors enthusiastically peddle their wares a bottle's throw from the two pubs.’
    • ‘But they shouldn't get too big for their britches just yet - they could find themselves peddling CDs on the streets of LA just like one of their predecessors.’
    • ‘Much the same advice applies as in Spain; avoid leather goods and wooden trinkets, especially those peddled by hawkers who wander the beaches of the Algarve interrupting your sunbathing.’
    sell, sell from door to door, hawk, tout, vend, offer for sale
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    1. 1.1 Sell (an illegal drug or stolen item)
      ‘certain youths who were involved in theft and drug peddling’
      • ‘The court heard she continued to peddle heroin after her arrest, and was on a conditional discharge and probation for two separate offences of shoplifting during the drug crimes.’
      • ‘It may not have been through free will, but a substantial amount of the drug was peddled in this area causing grief, misery and upset.’
      • ‘I could be running out of the hospital now to peddle pharmacy-fresh methadone to junkies on the street.’
      • ‘Instead of peddling drugs and booze, they now peddled women.’
      • ‘Trafficking is linked to international crime syndicates that peddle drugs, guns and false documents as well as people.’
      • ‘The drug dealer, identified simply as XXXX, is ready to retire with the fortune he made peddling cocaine.’
      • ‘But it is the overall image of drugs being peddled openly and used by, in some instances children as young as 12, that is causing growing concern.’
      • ‘A former town centre security guard who rented a car for drug dealers to use to peddle heroin across Swindon has been jailed for a year.’
      • ‘The whole thing reinforced my opposition to drugs and those who peddle them.’
      • ‘But when low grades kept him from attending college, he hit the streets, peddling crack cocaine.’
      • ‘Hard drugs are peddled to misguided youth and more than a few backdoor ‘massage parlours’ are in operation.’
      • ‘He spent his early 20s peddling dope and stolen cars, and making bogus stock trades.’
      • ‘They were charged with such heavy-duty crimes as petty theft, peddling phony drivers licenses, and making unlicensed money transfers.’
      • ‘Teenagers are being recruited by hardcore London-based criminal gangs to peddle drugs on the streets of Swindon.’
      • ‘There are only about a thousand real addicts in Britain, and nobody is going to make a fortune peddling heroin because the addicts can get it on prescription.’
      • ‘Pushers peddle drugs hidden inside cigarette boxes spread out on the sidewalk.’
      • ‘A teenage drug dealer who peddled heroin and crack cocaine on the streets of Swindon is facing a lengthy jail term.’
      • ‘Illegal drugs are also peddled inside the compound; this has been the cause of much of the fighting.’
      • ‘A suspect in a major investigation into a drugs gang that had a nationwide network peddling heroin is believed to be back in Britain.’
      • ‘A gang of evil drug dealers have been put behind bars for a total of nearly 20 years for peddling cocaine, Ecstasy and amphetamines.’
    2. 1.2 Promote (an idea or view) persistently or widely.
      ‘he criticized his fellow candidate for peddling risky ideas’
      • ‘The ‘scandal’ stories were the essence of the politics of the decade - peddled by scribes who most often didn't understand the drama in which they were but bit players.’
      • ‘The article recommends writing about your sex life, getting fired for writing a weblog and peddling extreme opinions.’
      • ‘The idea of British ‘sportsmanship’ was peddled for popular consumption in the years leading up to the war.’
      • ‘And he accused them of peddling the ‘myth’ that only a few were brainy enough to do well.’
      • ‘What are being peddled are not even promises but pure lies.’
      • ‘I believe it is unreasonable for people who have obviously never been to the city to peddle their stereotypical views as facts.’
      • ‘No-one peddles more myths than the conventional economist, whose view of the world bears only the slightest connection to reality.’
      • ‘Hatred, they argue, is seldom if ever a grassroots movement, but is ‘culturally propagated’, that is, peddled by the chattering classes.’
      • ‘What confounds all reasoning is how such poor material could be peddled to his eager fan base.’
      • ‘And in particular, this kind of bad science is being peddled for political ends, which makes it especially pressing to deplore it.’
      • ‘We live in a time when all sorts of ideas and newfangled methods of writing instruction are being peddled by writers of educational material.’
      • ‘The notion, often peddled by politicians and bureaucrats, that there is some sort of trade-off between machines and people in a defence force is fundamentally flawed.’
      • ‘My first reaction was to think, ‘Here's some Neanderthal guy trying to peddle outdated gender stereotypes.’’
      • ‘And this idea has been peddled by the intellectual elite in Britain for many years, more assiduously than anywhere else, to the extent that it is now taken for granted.’
      • ‘And it's what is being peddled in too many of our newspapers and in too many of our classrooms.’
      • ‘Such tactics merely disguise the fact that the avant-garde of the art world has been peddling more or less the same idea for over eighty years.’
      • ‘All we know of it is that it was being peddled to Sunday newspapers with an asking price of £60,000.’
      • ‘They reveal so many surprising and new facts that it is a damning indictment of the usual histories that are peddled in schools and colleges.’
      • ‘The story about the aluminum tubes seems not to have been true, even though we're still peddling that.’
      • ‘It's just that, as a vegan, I'm sick of reading misinformation paid for and peddled by hugely rich, destructive corporations.’
      advocate, suggest, urge, recommend, champion
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see pedal


Early 16th century: back-formation from pedlar.