Pedal or Peddle?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Pedal" and "Peddle"?

"Pedal" and "peddle" are easy to confuse because they sound identical (i.e., they are perfect homonyms). However, their meanings are very different.
  • "Pedal" is a noun referring to a lever pressed or activated by the foot. For example:
    • Gently press down on the left pedal. correct tick
  • "Pedal" is also a verb meaning to push pedals. For example:
    • Pedal as fast as you can. correct tick
  • "Peddle" is a verb meaning to sell goods or to promote ideas. For example:
    • I can peddle those TVs for you, governor. correct tick
    • He peddles right-wing propaganda on street corners. correct tick
pedal or peddle?

More about "Pedal" and "Peddle"

The words "pedal" and "peddle" sound identical. Therefore, they are homonyms. (More, specifically, "pedal" and "peddle" are a type of homonym called homophones.)


As a noun, a "pedal" is a lever or treadle, usually pressed or turned by the foot, in a mechanism (e.g., bicycle, piano).
The verb "to pedal" refers to the act of turning pedals (usually with your feet).

Example sentences with "pedal":
  • I couldn't pedal a bike as a child, so I had a donkey instead. correct tick (Paralympic Games gold medallist Lee Pearson)
  • When Mr. Ludwig invented the bass-drum pedal, that's what made the drum set possible. correct tick (Musician Neil Peart)


The verb "to peddle" means to sell (goods, illegal items, stolen items) or to promote (ideas or views).
We often encounter "to peddle" in the context of the selling of illegal drugs or other illicit items.

Example sentences with "peddle":
  • The group was arrested after trying to peddle guns. correct tick
  • (Here, "to peddle" means to sell.)
  • He criticized his fellow candidate for peddling risky ideas. correct tick
  • (Here, "to peddle" means to promote.)

Pedalling or Pedaling

The -ing form of the verb "to pedal" has a different spelling in British English and American English.
  • We are pedaling as fast as we can. correct tick (small American flag)
  • We are pedalling as fast as we can. correct tick (small British flag)

Common Terms with "Pedal" and "Peddle"

Common Terms with "Pedal":
  • pedal bin
  • pedal bike
  • pedal clips
  • guitar pedal
  • pedal power
Common Terms with "peddle":
  • peddle goods
  • peddle ideas
  • peddle drugs

Ready for the Test?

Help Us Improve Grammar Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?

Find Us Quicker!

  • When using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing), you will find Grammar Monster quicker if you add #gm to your search term.