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cart·​wheel ˈkärt-ˌ(h)wēl How to pronounce cartwheel (audio)
: a large coin (such as a silver dollar)
: a lateral handspring with arms and legs extended


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cartwheeled; cartwheeling; cartwheels

intransitive verb

: to move like a turning wheel
specifically : to perform cartwheels
cartwheeler noun

Examples of cartwheel in a Sentence

Noun The children turned cartwheels and somersaults on the grass. Verb She cartwheeled across the floor. The car hit the pole and then cartwheeled across the road.
Recent Examples on the Web
One day before the show’s Music Video Night, the 17-year-old actress shared rehearsal footage on TikTok of landing on her ankle after doing a cartwheel. Stephanie Wenger, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2023 But just because Democrats run the state government — along with most major cities — and hold a whopping advantage in voter registration doesn’t mean that their voters are doing cartwheels about the party. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2023 And yes, this one takes a while, but when your creation starts to look like a real basketball, your inner child will do a perfectly sloppy joy cartwheel on the front lawn of your brain. Sam Reece, SELF, 12 Oct. 2023 Khloé also shared more images of herself with her niece, plus a throwback video of Penelope and her daughter True practicing cartwheels with grandma Kris in a living room. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 9 July 2023 Predictably, Pixar executives are doing cartwheels. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, 3 Oct. 2023 After a second round of 6,000 bottles also sold out in seconds, Harden performed a cartwheel in excitement. Cheng Cheng, NBC News, 17 Aug. 2023 Harden then performed a cartwheel to celebrate the sales. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 17 Aug. 2023 Guthrie poses outside with Vale in the third photo while the last slide offers a glimpse at Vale's cartwheel talents as cheered on by Charley. Candace Ganger Powell, Peoplemag, 14 Aug. 2023
The reality star hid the injury well on social media, even showing off her cartwheeling abilities on Instagram last month. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 8 Aug. 2023 For me, the show’s stagecraft and general high spirits come closest to providing that value, but they are too often undone by 1955-ish ideas of Broadway style (cartwheeling cheerleaders, backflipping jocks) and 1985-ish plot points held over from the movie. Jesse Green, New York Times, 3 Aug. 2023 The wet dirt has so much grip that trucks attempting to turn sometimes cartwheel. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 14 Aug. 2023 Just as the man was about to seize them, Zdarsky let go, the papers cartwheeling across the grass in the stiff breeze. Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Aug. 2023 As the crowd erupted in cheers, Lautner cartwheeled and back-flipped (a nod to their scene in 2010’s Valentine’s Day) and wrapped Swift in a big hug. Leah Campano, Seventeen, 10 July 2023 The singer then surprised the crowd by bringing King, Lautner and Cash out after premiering the video — Lautner even surprised the crowd by cartwheeling and backflipping onstage. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 9 July 2023 The best room The Presidential Suite takes up the majority of the 60th floor and has a living room large enough to cartwheel through. Lee Cobaj, Robb Report, 29 May 2023 Those large families feature prominently in the show, from Fennell's cartwheeling brother-in-law to Pasqualone's tradition-loving mother. Brittanie Shey, Chron, 12 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cartwheel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1917, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cartwheel was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near cartwheel

Cite this Entry

“Cartwheel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a large coin (as a silver dollar)
: a sideways handspring with arms and legs extended

More from Merriam-Webster on cartwheel

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