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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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.

First Known Use of big wheel

1893, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about big wheel

Dictionary Entries near big wheel

big up


big vein

big wheel

big whoop


big with child

Statistics for big wheel

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for big wheel

The first known use of big wheel was in 1893

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with big wheel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for big wheel

Comments on big wheel

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!