paddle wheel


: a wheel with paddles around its circumference used to propel a boat

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The Sultana was a Civil War-era paddle wheel steamboat which exploded and burned on the Mississippi River on April 27, 1865. Paige Eichkorn, Arkansas Online, 12 Nov. 2022 Shallow waters in Mjosa, the country’s largest lake, kept its famed Skibladner paddle wheel boat tied up at port and prompted city officials in Oslo to send out text messages urging people to take shorter showers and avoid watering lawns. New York Times, 18 Aug. 2022 American Queen Voyages offers several cruises along the Mississippi on paddle wheel steamboats like the American Queen. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 21 Dec. 2021 In the second ad, algae is grown in little dishes, cultivated in a tiny seawater pond, and kept circulating by a minuscule paddle wheel. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2020 Chris Sabick identified the wreckage as being a paddle wheel belonging to the steamboat Phoenix. Allen Kim, CNN, 9 Sep. 2020 Local man Gary Lefebvre spotted the first paddle wheel while working through a list of 3,000 sonar targets, reports Austin Danforth for the Burlington Free Press. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Sep. 2020 Lefebvre discovered a second paddle wheel in the vicinity of the first on a second trip. Allen Kim, CNN, 9 Sep. 2020 Samuel Morse’s telegraph, John A. Peer’s gear-cutting machine and Henry Williams’s steamboat paddle wheel. Maureen Dowd, New York Times, 26 Aug. 2020 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1685, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of paddle wheel was in 1685

Dictionary Entries Near paddle wheel

Cite this Entry

“Paddle wheel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

paddle wheel


: a wheel with boards around its outer edge used to move a vessel

More from Merriam-Webster on paddle wheel

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