“Compared to the surrey lane, the pedestrian lane on the boardwalk is so pedestrian.”

As used as an adjective above, what is the best definition of pedestrian?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Lively and fun
Choice B - Dull and boring
Choice C - Related to transportation
Choice D - Wise or knowledgable


Pedestrian (adjective) – dull and commonplace, or lacking in imagination: or, related to walking  

Pedestrian (noun) – someone who travels by foot; a walker

GRE pro tips:

You probably know pedestrian as a noun referring to someone who travels on foot—sidewalks are for pedestrians. (Pedestrian comes from the Latin pedester meaning “going on foot,” or, in other words, a walker.) However, the term can also be used as an adjective, which is, in fact, its original use.

When the word was first popularized, to be “pedestrian” was to be drab or dull, plodding along on foot rather than speeding by on horseback or by coach. Today, it can also refer to something that is ordinary, or lacking in imagination and is often used to describe a colorless or lifeless writing, cinema, personal attributes, public tastes, or possessions. Pedestrian things are opposite to things that are riveting, imaginative, or inspiring. If you’ve seen, read, or heard about something like it a thousand times—it’s unimaginative and unoriginal, or pedestrian.  

Example sentences:

“Despite the series’ reviews, which touted its originality, I found the premise to be pedestrian at best.”

“Everything about the tourist experience seemed prepackaged and pedestrian – from the souvenir coffee mugs to our matching t-shirts.”