fifth wheel


Definition of fifth wheel

1a : 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

He felt more and more like a fifth wheel at the office.
Recent Examples on the Web The price varies based on the model and staging among other factors, but the minimum budget required is $50,000 for a fifth wheel or $30,000 for a travel trailer. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "This Mother-Daughter Duo Turns RVs Into Stunning Tiny Homes," 11 Aug. 2020 The fifth-wheel landing legs may not be seated properly with enough space between the brackets which are welded to the chassis, allowing the fifth wheel to slip down the landing leg and can puncture the floor of the vehicle. Detroit Free Press, "Car recalls for July 2-9," 10 July 2020 Three adults camping near Camp Verde in Yavapai County were rescued after several feet of water from a winter storm surrounded their truck and fifth wheel trailer. Mike Cruz, azcentral, "3 campers rescued from floodwaters in Yavapai County," 3 Dec. 2019 The huge fifth wheel, designed and patented by its creator, was a thing of beauty. Denise Coffey,, "Truck History Museum Rolls Into Brooklyn," 28 June 2019 People at the scene attempted to use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, which sparked on the fifth wheel of the trailer, according to CHP. Gwendolyn Wu,, "Trailer fire causes severe traffic on Sonoma County’s Hwy. 37," 25 June 2019 Oldest brother Kevin Jonas also tagged along, sans wife Danielle Jonas, as something of a trifecta-completing fifth wheel. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Went on a Double Date With Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner," 17 July 2018 The fifth wheel-type camper fell as Burrow's wife backed up, and the 63-year-old Salisbury man was pinned between the camper and the pickup truck bed, according to investigators. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "He asked his wife to back their truck up 'just a bit.' It killed him, deputies say," 14 June 2018 Both couples looked super lovey dovey cozied up to each other, and what made it even more adorable was that Taylor's model bestie Karlie Kloss tagged along and pretty much made being a fifth wheel look like the best job ever. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "Karlie Kloss is the Cutest Fifth Wheel Ever on Double Date with Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris, Gigi Hadid, and Joe Jonas," 29 June 2015

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.

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First Known Use of fifth wheel

circa 1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for fifth wheel

Time Traveler

The first known use of fifth wheel was circa 1874

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Cite this Entry

“Fifth wheel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for fifth wheel

fifth wheel


English Language Learners Definition of fifth wheel

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

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