wheel

noun, often attributive
\ ˈhwēl How to pronounce wheel (audio) , ˈwēl\

Definition of wheel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a circular frame of hard material that may be solid, partly solid, or spoked and that is capable of turning on an axle
2 : a contrivance or apparatus having as its principal part a wheel: such as
a : a chiefly medieval instrument of torture designed for mutilating a victim (as by stretching or disjointing)
b : bicycle
c : any of many revolving disks or drums used as gambling paraphernalia
3a : an imaginary turning wheel symbolizing the inconstancy of fortune
b : a recurring course, development, or action : cycle
4 : something (such as a round, flat cheese) resembling a wheel in shape
5a : a curving or circular movement
b : a rotation or turn usually about an axis or center specifically : a turning movement of troops or ships in line in which the units preserve alignment and relative positions as they change direction
6a : a moving or essential part of something compared to a machine the wheels of government
b : a directing or controlling force
c : a person of importance especially in an organization a big wheel
7 : the refrain or burden of a song
8a : a circuit of theaters or places of entertainment
b : a sports league
9 wheels plural, slang : a wheeled vehicle especially : automobile
10 wheels plural, slang : legs

wheel

verb
wheeled; wheeling; wheels

Definition of wheel (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to turn on or as if on an axis : revolve
2 : to change direction as if revolving on a pivot the battalion would have wheeled to the flank— Walter Bernstein her mind will wheel around to the other extreme— Liam O'Flaherty wheeled to face her opponent
3 : to move or extend in a circle or curve birds in wheeling flight valleys where young cotton wheeled slowly in fanlike rows— William Faulkner
4 : to travel on or as if on wheels or in a wheeled vehicle

transitive verb

1 : to cause to turn on or as if on an axis : rotate
2 : to convey or move on or as if on wheels or in a wheeled vehicle wheeled the patient back to his room wheeled the car into the driveway wheel in the experts
3 : to cause to change direction as if revolving on a pivot
4 : to make or perform in a circle or curve
wheel and deal
: to make deals or do business especially shrewdly or briskly

Illustration of wheel

Illustration of wheel

Noun

wheel 1: 1 hub, 2 spoke, 3 felly, 4 tire

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from wheel

Noun

wheelless \ ˈhwēl-​ləs How to pronounce wheelless (audio) , ˈwēl-​ \ adjective

Examples of wheel in a Sentence

Noun

The car's rear wheels started to spin on the icy road. the wheels of a train a suitcase with wheels on the bottom a wheel of cheddar cheese

Verb

Doctors wheeled the patient into the operating room. He wheeled his motorcycle into the garage. Our waiter wheeled out a small dessert cart. She wheeled around in her chair when I entered the room.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Every bone in Ruvolo’s face was shattered and the steering wheel bent when the teenager threw the 20-pound turkey at her car. Seattle Times Staff & News Services, The Seattle Times, "This week’s passages," 29 Mar. 2019 One team member works the steering wheel through the window as the others push. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "One Day at Daytona," 22 Mar. 2019 Big brother Saint, 3, joined baby Chicago in the passenger seat and took control of the steering wheel, while Chi sucked her pacifier and North sat on the hood of the truck. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian's Daughter, Chicago West, Gets a Mini Mercedes G-Wagon to Match with Mom," 16 Jan. 2019 Even the steering wheel has been reduced to its most minimal form. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Biomega unveils a radically simple electric vehicle," 27 Nov. 2018 The car that Meghan and Harry drove on their wedding day featured a steering wheel on the left side—which is standard in the United States, but not in the UK. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Meghan Markle Effect Is Now Extending to Cars—You Can Buy Harry and Meghan's Wedding Jaguar," 26 Aug. 2018 Local authorities tended to look the other way when one of the youngsters, whose face could scarcely be seen over the steering wheel, was dispatched via pickup to the feed or farm supply store. James C. Cobb, Smithsonian, "The Pickup Truck’s Transformation From Humble Workhorse to Fancy Toy," 3 July 2018 My knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel. Amber Leventry, Longreads, "Making Peace with Selective Reduction," 29 June 2018 Few of us realize that automobile manufacturers have been prying our hands from the steering wheel one useful piece of technology at a time. Eric Ellis, Fortune, "2 Things That Need to Happen for Driverless Cars to Go Mainstream," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Away suitcases—which were spotted being wheeled into the Mark Hotel before the baby shower began. Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Baby Shower Gift Bags Reportedly Contained Some Serious Swag," 28 Feb. 2019 But the most shocking thing part of all comes near the end, when, suddenly, Kate is strapped to a stretcher and is being wheeled into a hospital. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Watch the Terrifying New 'This Is Us' Season 3 Promo That Has Fans Freaking Out," 20 Feb. 2019 There’s a balance to be struck between playing free-wheeling action cards and maintaining a strong table state. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "KeyForge: The red-hot card game where every deck is unique—and unchangeable," 15 Dec. 2018 What cultural forces or influences caused your group to look so far beyond the traditional architectural discourse; even today, that free-wheeling exploration and theorization feels rare. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How the Archigram architectural collective, profiled in a comprehensive new book, designed for a more radical, and random, future," 26 Nov. 2018 Federer is a delicate, brush-stroking impressionist and Nadal is a dogged, free-wheeling abstract expressionist. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "'Strokes of Genius' Documentary Commemorates the Iconic Federer-Nadal '08 Wimbledon Final," 26 June 2018 Hair tools drone on like white noise machines, a rack of sequined clothes is wheeled in, music that can be best described as reggae-ish? Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Bethenny Frankel Doesn't Need to Be Thanked. But She Wouldn't Mind a Little Gratitude From President Trump.," 14 Sep. 2018 Paramedics wheel in the 70-year-old on a stretcher and help him sit on the edge of a bed. Eliezer J. Sternberg, Discover Magazine, "The Man Who Lost His Language Overnight," 17 Aug. 2018 Alternatively, the Osprey can carry up to 12,500 pounds in an external slung load, including artillery, wheeled vehicles, and supplies. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "V-22 Osprey: The Story of the Revolutionary Tiltrotor Aircraft," 8 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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 wheel

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for wheel

Noun

Middle English, from Old English hweogol, hwēol; akin to Old Norse hvēl wheel, Greek kyklos circle, wheel, Skt cakra, Latin colere to cultivate, inhabit, Sanskrit carati he moves, wanders

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Statistics for wheel

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wheel

The first known use of wheel was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for wheel

wheel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of wheel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one of the round parts underneath a car, wagon, etc., that rolls and allows something to move
: a hard, round object that turns and causes machinery or a mechanical device to move
: something that is round like a wheel or that turns like a wheel

wheel

verb

English Language Learners Definition of wheel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move (someone or something) on a vehicle that has wheels
: to push (something) that has wheels on it
: to turn quickly and face a different direction

wheel

noun
\ ˈhwēl How to pronounce wheel (audio) , ˈwēl\

Kids Definition of wheel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a disk or circular frame that can turn on a central point
2 : something that is round a wheel of cheese
3 : steering wheel His hands tightly gripped the wheel.
4 : something having a wheel as its main part a spinning wheel
5 wheels plural : moving power : necessary parts the wheels of government

Other Words from wheel

wheeled \ ˈhwēld , wēld \ adjective

wheel

verb
wheeled; wheeling

Kids Definition of wheel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to carry or move on wheels or in a vehicle with wheels
2 : rotate sense 1 Seagulls wheeled above the boat.
3 : to change direction as if turning on a central point I wheeled and faced them.

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More from Merriam-Webster on wheel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wheel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wheel

Spanish Central: Translation of wheel

Nglish: Translation of wheel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wheel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wheel

Comments on wheel

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