Definition of treadle in English:



  • 1A lever worked by the foot that imparts motion to a machine.

    • ‘She had a treadle sewing machine and mended everything.’
    • ‘It lived for a long time at the bottom of the button drawer on my grandmother's old treadle Singer sewing machine, which I had inherited.’
    • ‘I almost wished we could use the defunct treadles because every time I turned my machine own it ran away with me.’
    • ‘My thin black boot beat on the treadle, urging the wheel to spin harder.’
    • ‘He was listening to the singing of treadle sewing machines hard at work, not an encroaching fever.’
    • ‘He said that Tri-Lakes would provide 100 per cent maintenance to the treadle pumps that were given to the farmers.’
    • ‘Clothing and homemade baskets come from a cooperative of women who sew on foot treadle machines.’
    • ‘I replaced the missing foot treadle; otherwise, it is as found.’
    • ‘I loved the sound of my boot beating on the treadle.’
    • ‘The rocking motion of the treadle and the gentle clacking of the machine often lulled the restless child.’
    • ‘Pumping their feet on the treadle would turn the drill bit in the patient's tooth.’
    • ‘He dipped his fingers in water, spun the bowls using a foot treadle and then played them almost like a piano.’
    • ‘In this experiment, demonstrator pigeons either stepped on a treadle or pecked at the treadle to obtain a food reward.’
    • ‘The other result was that Bob became skilled at hand setting lines of display type, locking up printing formes and hand feeding both treadle and motorised presses.’
    • ‘For instance, a woman using buckets can do 200-500 square metres while the treadle pump user can cover up to 2,500 square metres (five times as much) within the same given time.’
    • ‘Polishing in our workshop had to be done on an old treadle lathe, the only machine we had.’
    • ‘Franklin's glass armonica, which rests in a mahogany veneered case on cabriole legs and pad feet, was probably originally fitted with a foot treadle to rotate the axle on which the color-coded glass bowls were mounted.’
    • ‘A Scottish blacksmith, Kirkpatrick MacMillan, is credited with adding a treadle drive mechanism in 1840, for the first time enabling the rider to lift his feet off the ground.’
    • ‘My mother wasn't good at sewing but she had a treadle sewing machine and patched and patched.’
    • ‘Other developments in the nineteenth century included the reclining dental chair, amalgam fillings (which were controversial even in the 1850s), and the treadle engine for driving the dental drill.’
    1. 1.1 Any of a row of metal spikes set on an angle on a spring within a plate laid across the entrance or exit of a parking facility, used to prevent drivers from using the facility without paying.


  • Operate (a machine) using a treadle.


Old English tredel ‘stair, step’ (see tread).