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noun, often attributive \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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

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


play \ˈhwēl-ləs, ˈwēl-\ adjective

Examples of wheel in a sentence

  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 and Etymology 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

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 in a sentence

  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

WHEEL Defined for Kids



noun \ˈhwēl, ˈwēl\

Definition of wheel for Students

  1. 1 :  a disk or circular frame that can turn on a central point

  2. 2 :  something that is round <a wheel of cheese>

  3. 3 :  steering wheel <His hands tightly gripped the wheel.>

  4. 4 :  something having a wheel as its main part <a spinning wheel>

  5. 5 wheels plural :  moving power :  necessary parts <the wheels of government>


\ˈhwēld, wēld\ adjective




Definition of wheel for Students



  1. 1 :  to carry or move on wheels or in a vehicle with wheels

  2. 2 :  rotate 1 <Seagulls wheeled above the boat.>

  3. 3 :  to change direction as if turning on a central point <I wheeled and faced them.>

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