1716, "prosaic, dull" (of writing), from Latin pedester (genitive pedestris) "plain, not versified, prosaic," literally "on foot" (sense contrasted with equester "on horseback"), from pedes "one who goes on foot," from pes (genitive pedis) "foot," from PIE root *ped- "foot." Meaning "going on foot" is first attested 1791 in English (it also was a sense of Latin pedester). The earlier adjective in English was pedestrial (1610s).
"walker," 1793, from pedestrian (adj.).
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