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  • Adj.

pedestrian

puh-DES-tree-uhn

Context
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My brother has decided to become a banker, which seems to me like a boring, unimaginative, and pedestrian career. He has always been artistic, so I imagined him becoming a painter or a sculptor, rather than working a pedestrian, nine-to-five, everyday job. I think he wanted the financial security that is more easily attained through pedestrian, commonplace, run-of-the-mill work.

Quiz: When is something considered pedestrian?

  • When it goes against expectations.
  • When most people do it or believe in it.
  • When it is ordinary and blah.

Memory Hook
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Pedestrian Pedestrian Immanuel Kant, the great German philosopher, was such a pedestrian pedestrian because he would take the same walk at the same time each and every day, each and every day of his life.

Examples
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  • Spitzer also happens to be only the latest of a number of top-level politicians in the Northeast to be brought low by the most pedestrian lapses of judgment. —Epicurious
  • Surprising to me, that from this soup cookbook, the editors chose to showcase such an insipid and pedestrian recipe without explaining that it is simply one part of a weight loss diet. —Epicurious
  • Bruno Lafont, the boss of Lafarge, proudly indicates a photograph of an impossibly thin pedestrian bridge built with one such miracle product. —The Economist
  • The predicted models also indicated that the total pedestrian casualties were significantly correlated with the total population of the zone, number of four-leg intersections, population density, and total number of students enrolled in elementary schools in the considered zones. —BNET

Word Ingredients
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ped foot
est be
-an relating to

The adjective pedestrian refers to the place where everyone is “on foot,” that is, the common place where people or pedestrians usually walk; hence, the heavily-used path would be the pedestrian, or ordinary, one.

Word Constellation
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Pedestrian

Word Variants
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pedestrian n someone who walks rather than rides