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

No word on wheels for the Countryman, but the current model has standard 18-inchers. Annie White, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Mini JCW Countryman and Clubman Get More Power," 14 May 2019 Auto makers have outfitted new cars with a lot of technology, effectively turning them into computers on wheels. Mike Colias, WSJ, "Detroit Downloads Tesla’s Software Strategy," 20 Mar. 2019 The counter-service Wing Stop comes to Rainier Valley, and there is now bubble tea on wheels as Dreamy Drinks makes the rounds around Seattle and the Eastside. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "Bellevue lands a famous, big-name hot-pot spot and 42 other new openings around the Seattle area," 13 Feb. 2019 For the new product, DeepLens has been set on wheels and seen the addition of an extra battery and some other bells and whistles. Jason Levitt, Ars Technica, "Start your (machine learning) engines: Amazon’s DeepRacer is almost here," 21 Dec. 2018 Crowley appears positively asleep at the wheel, waking up only when the New York Times excoriates him, to awkwardly bop at a Queens Pride Parade and talk almost exclusively about Trump. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Knock Down the House Reminds Us that AOC's Triumph Almost Wasn't," 3 May 2019 The red Roadster — with a mannequin, dubbed Starman, likely still at the wheel — remains in a solar orbit stretching just past Mars. Marcia Dunn, The Seattle Times, "SpaceX launches mega rocket, lands all 3 boosters," 14 Apr. 2019 In danger of a heart attack? Dozing at the wheel of your car? John Mccormick, WSJ, "What AI Can Tell From Listening to You," 1 Apr. 2019 Typically, the cars that drive without a person at the wheel have been in relatively small residential areas of Chandler, Ariz., where there is little traffic, according to people familiar with the program. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo One, the groundbreaking self-driving taxi service, explained," 5 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Temi's robot can wheel around your house and help accomplish tasks, but its creators designed it to have as little personality as possible. David Pierce, WSJ, "The Robot Revolution Is Coming, and Dang Is It Cute," 28 Oct. 2018 The Wings stemmed the Jets’ momentum when Nyquist wheeled the puck around behind their net and found Mantha for a goal at 7:35 of the second period. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings fight hard, but fall short at Winnipeg Jets, 4-3," 2 Mar. 2018 When a body is ready to be cremated, it is removed from cold storage and placed on a retractable table that looks like a gurney, then wheeled over to one of the machines. Caren Chesler, Popular Mechanics, "Burning Out: What Really Happens Inside a Crematorium," 1 Mar. 2018 That free-wheeling exuberance continued well after the ball was over. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "The 21 Best-Dressed Guests at the 2019 Met Gala After-Parties," 7 May 2019 Chrissy's commentary, paired with that recent scary promo of Kate getting wheeled into the hospital, is making everyone ask about what's going to happen to Kate and her baby. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "This Shocking 'This Is Us' Fan Theory About What Happens to Kate's Baby Is Too Much," 5 Mar. 2019 In scenes reminiscent of Tardelli 24 years earlier, the left- back wheeled away with pure delight, closely followed by all of his equally euphoric teammates. SI.com, "7 of the Best Celebrations in World Cup History," 31 May 2018 Residents, instead of placing recyclables in blue bags or small blue bins, drop them in specially designed, wheeled 65-gallon containers. Joseph Clark, cleveland.com, "Driver found to have suspended license: Olmsted Township police blotter," 7 May 2018 Workers wheeled push carts -- loaded with the parts and equipment needed for specific tasks -- from car to car. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "On a roll: Skyline Attractions ships out coaster cars," 24 Apr. 2018

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

25 May 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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