wheel

1 of 2

noun

plural wheels
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
c
: any of many revolving disks or drums used as gambling paraphernalia
e
: steering wheel
… drivers are expected to keep their hands on the wheel and remain attentive …Emily Dreibelbis
see also behind the wheel
3
a
: 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
5
a
: 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
6
a
: 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
8
a
: a circuit of theaters or places of entertainment
b
: a sports league
9
wheels plural, slang : a wheeled vehicle
especially : car, automobile
"Man, you got to get yourself some new wheels. When I get to college, I'm gonna get me a white Nissan Sentra …" Darcy Frey
10
wheels plural, slang : legs
wheelless adjective

Illustration of wheel

Illustration of wheel
  • 1 hub
  • 2 spoke
  • 3 felly
  • 4 tire

wheel

2 of 2

verb

wheeled; wheeling; wheels

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 flankWalter Bernstein
her mind will wheel around to the other extremeLiam 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 rowsWilliam 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
Phrases
wheel and deal
: to make deals or do business especially shrewdly or briskly

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
To use it, just clip it onto the edge of the can, maneuver the extra large turn knob, and the wheel effortlessly glides along the can’s outer rim for a seamless puncturing, unlike so many can openers that can feel like pulling teeth or driving down a bumpy road). Stephanie Osmanski, Southern Living, 13 Apr. 2024 An additional support stand will be added to keep both wheels off the floor to prevent wear spots on tires. USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2024 Last year, the wheels finally started turning again. Brad Sanders, SPIN, 10 Apr. 2024 All sent to the front wheels thru a 10 speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, with intelligent traction management. Tony Leopardo, The Mercury News, 8 Apr. 2024 Kansas City’s preeminent party vendors are scurrying about a rooftop lounge that overlooks the city’s new ferris wheel, all in preparation for celebrating the birthday of their hometown hero. Dianna Mazzone Singh, Allure, 2 Apr. 2024 Some car buyers will wait additional weeks for sleek new European wheels. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, 31 Mar. 2024 The auction house also sold other Titanic props, including the ship’s helm wheel, Rose’s chiffon dress and a large brass engine order telegraph. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2024 The suspension, while compliant and not too stiff, can loosen teeth if a wheel takes a pothole full steam ahead. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 29 Mar. 2024
Verb
Byer also was on assignment months later capturing a joyous occasion as Porter was wheeled around her new apartment by her Hope Cooperative caseworker Tracey Knickerbocker. Rosalio Ahumada, Sacramento Bee, 12 Apr. 2024 Video also showed Ortiz mixing vials of medication and watching as his victims were wheeled out by emergency responders, authorities said. Nicole Lopez, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 12 Apr. 2024 After the papers are signed, guests are steered toward some sofas, glasses of bubbles appear, and a cherry red Berkel ham slicer is wheeled over. Ann Abel, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 This roomy wheeled duffel will see them through any adventure, thanks to the durable and sustainable construction, sturdy oversized wheels, and padded walls. Paula Lee, Glamour, 14 Mar. 2024 The coach’s message was delivered as music blasted from a four-foot speaker wheeled out just beyond one corner of the practice field. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Mar. 2024 My teacher wheeled the TV out of the room and began our math lesson as if all was fine. Lauren Brown West-Rosenthal, Parents, 7 Mar. 2024 Several of the men appeared to be badly injured, with one appearing with a bandage over his ear, while another was wheeled into court in a wheelchair. Nick Duffy, NBC News, 25 Mar. 2024 Gordon responds, wheeling the top half of his daughter off the stage. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 20 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wheel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near wheel

Cite this Entry

“Wheel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wheel. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

wheel

1 of 2 noun
ˈhwē(ə)l How to pronounce wheel (audio)
ˈwē(ə)l
1
: a disk or circular frame turning on a central point
2
: a device (as a bicycle or potter's wheel) whose main part is a wheel
3
: something resembling a wheel (as in being round)
a wheel of cheese
4
: a curving or circular movement
5
: a moving or essential part of something compared to a machine
the wheels of government
6
: a person of importance
he was a big wheel in town
7
plural, slang : automobile
he borrowed my wheels for an upcoming date
wheeled
ˈhwē(ə)ld
ˈwē(ə)ld
adjective

wheel

2 of 2 verb
1
: to turn on or as if on a central point : revolve
2
: to change direction as if turning on a central point
wheeled about to face her opponent
3
: to move in a circle or curve
4
: to carry or move on wheels or in a vehicle
wheel a load into the barn

More from Merriam-Webster on wheel

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!