1

rowel

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noun row·el \ˈrau̇(-ə)l\

Definition of rowel

  1. :  a revolving disk with sharp marginal points at the end of a spur

rowel was our Word of the Day on 08/25/2013. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of rowel

Middle English rowelle, from Anglo-French roele small wheel — more at roulette


2

rowel

verb row·el

Definition of rowel

roweled

or

rowelled

;

roweling

or

rowelling

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to goad with or as if with a rowel

  3. 2 :  vex, trouble

Did You Know?

If you've seen Western movies, you've seen rowels. The noun rowel names the circular, point-covered disk on the end of a spur that is used to urge powerful steeds to maximum speeds. But cowboys didn't invent rowels; knights in shining armor were sporting them even before the 12th century. English speakers of yore picked up the noun rowel from the Anglo-French roele, meaning "small wheel" (roele is also an ancestor of the word roulette). By the end of the 1500s, rowel was also being used as a verb for any process of prodding or goading that was as irritating as being poked in the side with a rowel.

First Known Use of rowel

1566


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set in a bent position

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