big wheel

plural big wheels

Definition of big wheel

1 chiefly US, informal : an important person : bigwig, big shot He … followed the girl to the elevator, and got in with her as if she were a big wheel in Bronx politics.— Wilfrid Sheed
2 British : ferris wheel The wheel formation is the basis of most rides, and the Big Wheel itself is not a new machine.— Ian Starsmore They ate toffee apples and sweet popcorn, shot at targets, tossed rings and rode on the big wheel.— Paulo Lins

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Examples of big wheel in a Sentence

He's a big wheel in local politics. brags that her son is a big wheel on Wall Street
Recent Examples on the Web By entering codes, players will earn entries for the drawings for the chance to appear on TV and spin the big wheel. Amy Huschka, Detroit Free Press, "Lapeer County man wins $1 Million on 'The Big Spin' from Michigan Lottery," 27 Oct. 2019 The lease also calls for a bigger wheel to be built on the location within a year. Scott Wartman,, "SkyStar wheel will help pay for the Freedom Center and other organizations at The Banks," 4 Sep. 2019 Downtown Chicago is like the center of a big wheel, with CTA and Metra lines, as well as highways, acting as spokes that easily lead commuters to and from more than 600,000 jobs. Mary Wisniewski,, "Some suburban workers face long, tricky commutes. Communities are grappling with how to fill in transit holes," 28 Oct. 2019 Pizza Carrello usually orders one big wheel of Parmesan at a time but recently bought five. USA TODAY, "Guitar hotel, creepy dolls, slime museum: News from around our 50 states," 25 Oct. 2019 Schools: Ohio State University is the big wheel in town, with more than 66,000 students, but smaller schools abound. New York Times, "Where Amazon May Build Its New Headquarters," 18 Jan. 2018 Daphne Brooks, a professor of theater and African-American studies at Yale University, sees Ms. Kennedy’s wide influence, from the playwright Suzan-Lori Parks to the TV big wheel Shonda Rhimes. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Adrienne Kennedy, Playwright: Still Quiet, Still Bold, Still Furious," 10 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'big wheel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of big wheel

1893, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for big wheel

Time Traveler

The first known use of big wheel was in 1893

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Statistics for big wheel

Last Updated

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Big wheel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for big wheel

big wheel


English Language Learners Definition of big wheel

chiefly US, informal : a powerful or important person

More from Merriam-Webster on big wheel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for big wheel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with big wheel

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