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velocipede Syllabification: ve·loc·i·pede
Pronunciation: /vəˈläsəˌpēd/

Definition of velocipede in English:


1An early form of bicycle propelled by working pedals on cranks fitted to the front axle.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • He takes us from the French pushbike or draisine of 1816 through boneshakers and penny-farthings to the English velocipedes of the 1880s.
  • By 1863, attaching cranks and pedals to the front wheel of the hobby horse had produced the velocipede, commonly known as the boneshaker.
1.1US A child’s tricycle.


Example sentences
  • Another big problem for would-be velocipedists was the state of the roads: they were so rutted that it was impossible to balance for long.
  • There were exaggerated complaints about irresponsible velocipedists, but there was also official support for the ‘feedless horse’.
  • It being a delightful afternoon, the path was chock full of Sunday strollers, rollerbladers and fellow velocipedists.


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

  • bicycle from mid 19th century:

    The velocipede (literally ‘rapid foot’) was the early form of bicycle, which is formed from bi- ‘two’ and Greek kuklos ‘wheel’. The abbreviation bike was not long to follow, in the late 19th century. A tricycle as a name for a three-wheeled coach drawn by two horses, dates from the 1820s, with the abbreviation trike appearing in the 1880s. Unicycle, from uni- ‘one’, was first recorded in the US in the 1860s.

Definition of velocipede in:
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