fifth wheel

noun

Definition of fifth wheel

1 a :a horizontal wheel or segment of a wheel that consists of two parts rotating on each other above the fore axle of a carriage and that forms support to prevent tipping
b :a similar coupling between tractor and trailer of a semitrailer
2 :one that is superfluous, unnecessary, or burdensome

Examples of fifth wheel in a Sentence

  1. He felt more and more like a fifth wheel at the office.

Recent Examples of fifth wheel from the Web

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

First Known Use of fifth wheel

circa 1874


FIFTH WHEEL Defined for English Language Learners

fifth wheel

noun

Definition of fifth wheel for English Language Learners

  • : an extra person who is not needed in a group


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