An exercise machine with a circular belt that keeps rotating while someone or something walks on it. A great thing for the sort of psychotic person who is not satisfied by walking through a meadow and smelling the roses.

Nineteenth-century piece of prison hardware contrived by William Cubitt to serve as a disciplinary tool, which occasionally performed useful work with its man-powered horizontal revolving shaft. In the 1820s, the English penal system introduced this form of punishment, intended to make prisoners wearily repent their crimes. . . the name of this machine was synonymous with monotony and exhaustion.

Tread"mill` (?), n.

A mill worked by persons treading upon steps on the periphery of a wide wheel having a horizontal axis. It is used principally as a means of prison discipline. Also, a mill worked by horses, dogs, etc., treading an endless belt.

<-- or for physical exercise -->

 

© Webster 1913.

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