Definition of velocipede in US English:



  • 1An early form of bicycle propelled by working pedals on cranks fitted to the front axle.

    • ‘He takes us from the French pushbike or draisine of 1816 through boneshakers and penny-farthings to the English velocipedes of the 1880s.’
    • ‘Fitzpatrick refers to reports of early ‘velocipedes’ being used for this purpose in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, when the bicycle industry was barely out of its infancy.’
    • ‘By 1863, attaching cranks and pedals to the front wheel of the hobby horse had produced the velocipede, commonly known as the boneshaker.’
    • ‘Throughout his life he worked on mechanical and engineering problems, constructing a turnip-cutter and a velocipede, as well as devising methods of reclaiming bogs.’
    • ‘The new route across Ryelands Park was unveiled as local dignitaries pedalled a selection of ageing velocipedes’ down it in memory of Lord Ashton's era.’
    1. 1.1US A child's tricycle.


Early 19th century: from French vélocipède, from Latin velox, veloc- ‘swift’ + pes, ped- ‘foot’.