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noun \ˈhwēl, ˈwēl\

Simple Definition of wheel

  • : one of the round parts underneath a car, wagon, etc., that rolls and allows something to move

  • : a hard, round object that turns and causes machinery or a mechanical device to move

  • : something that is round like a wheel or that turns like a wheel

Full Definition of wheel

  1. 1 :  a circular frame of hard material that may be solid, partly solid, or spoked and that is capable of turning on an axle

  2. 2 :  a contrivance or apparatus having as its principal part a wheel: as a :  a chiefly medieval instrument of torture designed for mutilating a victim (as by stretching or disjointing) b :  bicycle c :  any of many revolving disks or drums used as gambling paraphernalia d :  potter's wheel e :  steering wheel

  3. 3 a :  an imaginary turning wheel symbolizing the inconstancy of fortune b :  a recurring course, development, or action :  cycle

  4. 4 :  something (as a round flat cheese) resembling a wheel in shape

  5. 5 a :  a curving or circular movement b :  a rotation or turn usually about an axis or center; specifically :  a turning movement of troops or ships in line in which the units preserve alignment and relative positions as they change direction

  6. 6 a :  a moving or essential part of something compared to a machine <the wheels of government> b :  a directing or controlling force c :  a person of importance especially in an organization <a big wheel>

  7. 7 :  the refrain or burden of a song

  8. 8 a :  a circuit of theaters or places of entertainment b :  a sports league

  9. 9 plural slang :  a wheeled vehicle; especially :  automobile

  10. 10 plural slang :  legs

wheel·less play \ˈhwēl-ləs, ˈwēl-\ adjective

Examples of wheel

  1. The car's rear wheels started to spin on the icy road.

  2. the wheels of a train

  3. a suitcase with wheels on the bottom

  4. a wheel of cheddar cheese

Illustration of wheel

Origin of wheel

Middle English, from Old English hweogol, hwēol; akin to Old Norse hvēl wheel, Greek kyklos circle, wheel, Sanskrit cakra, Latin colere to cultivate, inhabit, Sanskrit carati he moves, wanders

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Mechanical Engineering Terms




Simple Definition of wheel

  • : to move (someone or something) on a vehicle that has wheels

  • : to push (something) that has wheels on it

  • : to turn quickly and face a different direction

Full Definition of wheel

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to turn on or as if on an axis :  revolve

  3. 2 :  to change direction as if revolving on a pivot <the battalion would have wheeled to the flank — Walter Bernstein> <her mind will wheel around to the other extreme — Liam O'Flaherty> <wheeled to face her opponent>

  4. 3 :  to move or extend in a circle or curve <birds in wheeling flight> <valleys where young cotton wheeled slowly in fanlike rows — William Faulkner>

  5. 4 :  to travel on or as if on wheels or in a wheeled vehicle

  6. transitive verb
  7. 1 :  to cause to turn on or as if on an axis :  rotate

  8. 2 :  to convey or move on or as if on wheels or in a wheeled vehicle <wheeled the patient back to his room> <wheeled the car into the driveway> <wheel in the experts>

  9. 3 :  to cause to change direction as if revolving on a pivot

  10. 4 :  to make or perform in a circle or curve

wheel and deal
  1. :  to make deals or do business especially shrewdly or briskly

Examples of wheel

  1. Doctors wheeled the patient into the operating room.

  2. He wheeled his motorcycle into the garage.

  3. Our waiter wheeled out a small dessert cart.

  4. She wheeled around in her chair when I entered the room.

13th Century

First Known Use of wheel

13th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up wheel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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