Definitions for: Wheel


[n] a cycle that has two wheels; moved by foot pedals
[n] a handwheel that is used for steering
[n] an instrument of torture that stretches or disjoints or mutilates victims
[n] game equipment consisting of a rotating wheel with slots that is used for gambling; players bet on which slot the roulette ball will stop in
[n] a simple machine consisting of a circular frame with spokes (or a solid disc) that can rotate on a shaft or axle (as in vehicles or other machines)
[n] a circular helm to control the rudder of a vessel
[v] move along on or as if on wheels or a wheeled vehicle; "The President's convoy rolled past the crowds"
[v] ride a bicycle
[v] change directions as of revolving on a pivot; "They wheeled their horses around and left"
[v] wheel somebody or something



Webster (1913) Definition: Wheel, n. [OE. wheel, hweol, AS. hwe['o]l, hweogul,
hweowol; akin to D. wiel, Icel. hv[=e]l, Gr. ky`klos, Skr.
cakra; cf. Icel. hj[=o]l, Dan. hiul, Sw. hjul. [root]218. Cf.
Cycle, Cyclopedia.]
1. A circular frame turning about an axis; a rotating disk,
whether solid, or a frame composed of an outer rim, spokes
or radii, and a central hub or nave, in which is inserted
the axle, -- used for supporting and conveying vehicles,
in machinery, and for various purposes; as, the wheel of a
wagon, of a locomotive, of a mill, of a watch, etc.

The gasping charioteer beneath the wheel Of his own
car. --Dryden.

2. Any instrument having the form of, or chiefly consisting
of, a wheel. Specifically:
(a) A spinning wheel. See under Spinning.
(b) An instrument of torture formerly used.

His examination is like that which is made by
the rack and wheel. --Addison.

Note: This mode of torture is said to have been first
employed in Germany, in the fourteenth century. The
criminal was laid on a cart wheel with his legs and
arms extended, and his limbs in that posture were
fractured with an iron bar. In France, where its use
was restricted to the most atrocious crimes, the
criminal was first laid on a frame of wood in the form
of a St. Andrew's cross, with grooves cut transversely
in it above and below the knees and elbows, and the
executioner struck eight blows with an iron bar, so as
to break the limbs in those places, sometimes finishing
by two or three blows on the chest or stomach, which
usually put an end to the life of the criminal, and
were hence called coups-de-grace -- blows of mercy. The
criminal was then unbound, and laid on a small wheel,
with his face upward, and his arms and legs doubled
under him, there to expire, if he had survived the
previous treatment. --Brande.
(c) (Naut.) A circular frame having handles on the
periphery, and an axle which is so connected with the
tiller as to form a means of controlling the rudder
for the purpose of steering.
(d) (Pottery) A potter's wheel. See under Potter.

Then I went down to the potter's house, and,
behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. --Jer.
xviii. 3.

Turn, turn, my wheel! This earthen jar A touch
can make, a touch can mar. --Longfellow.
(e) (Pyrotechny) A firework which, while burning, is
caused to revolve on an axis by the reaction of the
escaping gases.
(f) (Poetry) The burden or refrain of a song.

Note: ``This meaning has a low degree of authority, but is
supposed from the context in the few cases where the
word is found.'' --Nares.

You must sing a-down a-down, An you call him
a-down-a. O, how the wheel becomes it! --Shak.



3. A bicycle or a tricycle; a velocipede.

4. A rolling or revolving body; anything of a circular form;
a disk; an orb. --Milton.

5. A turn revolution; rotation; compass.

According to the common vicissitude and wheel of
things, the proud and the insolent, after long
trampling upon others, come at length to be trampled
upon themselves. --South.

[He] throws his steep flight in many an a["e]ry
wheel. --Milton.

A wheel within a wheel, or Wheels within wheels, a
complication of circumstances, motives, etc.

Balance wheel. See in the Vocab.

Bevel wheel, Brake wheel, Cam wheel, Fifth wheel,
Overshot wheel, Spinning wheel, etc. See under Bevel,
Brake, etc.

Core wheel. (Mach.)
(a) A mortise gear.
(b) A wheel having a rim perforated to receive wooden
cogs; the skeleton of a mortise gear.

Measuring wheel, an odometer, or perambulator.

Wheel and axle (Mech.), one of the elementary machines or
mechanical powers, consisting of a wheel fixed to an axle,
and used for raising great weights, by applying the power
to the circumference of the wheel, and attaching the
weight, by a rope or chain, to that of the axle. Called
also axis in peritrochio, and perpetual lever, -- the
principle of equilibrium involved being the same as in the
lever, while its action is continuous. See {Mechanical
powers}, under Mechanical.

Wheel animal, or Wheel animalcule (Zo["o]l.), any one of
numerous species of rotifers having a ciliated disk at the
anterior end.

Wheel barometer. (Physics) See under Barometer.

Wheel boat, a boat with wheels, to be used either on water
or upon inclined planes or railways.

Wheel bug (Zo["o]l.), a large North American hemipterous
insect (Prionidus cristatus) which sucks the blood of
other insects. So named from the curious shape of the
prothorax.

Wheel carriage, a carriage moving on wheels.

Wheel chains, or Wheel ropes (Naut.), the chains or ropes
connecting the wheel and rudder.

Wheel cutter, a machine for shaping the cogs of gear
wheels; a gear cutter.

Wheel horse, one of the horses nearest to the wheels, as
opposed to a leader, or forward horse; -- called also
wheeler.

Wheel lathe, a lathe for turning railway-car wheels.

Wheel lock.
(a) A letter lock. See under Letter.
(b) A kind of gunlock in which sparks were struck from a
flint, or piece of iron pyrites, by a revolving wheel.
(c) A kind of brake a carriage.

Wheel ore (Min.), a variety of bournonite so named from the
shape of its twin crystals. See Bournonite.

Wheel pit (Steam Engine), a pit in the ground, in which the
lower part of the fly wheel runs.

Wheel plow, or Wheel plough, a plow having one or two
wheels attached, to render it more steady, and to regulate
the depth of the furrow.

Wheel press, a press by which railway-car wheels are forced
on, or off, their axles.

Wheel race, the place in which a water wheel is set.

Wheel rope (Naut.), a tiller rope. See under Tiller.

Wheel stitch (Needlework), a stitch resembling a spider's
web, worked into the material, and not over an open space.
--Caulfeild & S. (Dict. of Needlework).

Wheel tree (Bot.), a tree (Aspidosperma excelsum) of
Guiana, which has a trunk so curiously fluted that a
transverse section resembles the hub and spokes of a
coarsely made wheel. See Paddlewood.

Wheel urchin (Zo["o]l.), any sea urchin of the genus
Rotula having a round, flat shell.

Wheel window (Arch.), a circular window having radiating
mullions arranged like the spokes of a wheel. Cf. {Rose
window}, under Rose.


Wheel, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Wheeled; p. pr. & vb. n.
Wheeling.]
1. To convey on wheels, or in a wheeled vehicle; as, to wheel
a load of hay or wood.

2. To put into a rotatory motion; to cause to turn or
revolve; to cause to gyrate; to make or perform in a
circle. ``The beetle wheels her droning flight.'' --Gray.

Now heaven, in all her glory, shone, and rolled Her
motions, as the great first mover's hand First
wheeled their course. --Milton.


Wheel, v. i.
1. To turn on an axis, or as on an axis; to revolve; to more
about; to rotate; to gyrate.

The moon carried about the earth always shows the
same face to us, not once wheeling upon her own
center. --Bentley.

2. To change direction, as if revolving upon an axis or
pivot; to turn; as, the troops wheeled to the right.

Being able to advance no further, they are in a fair
way to wheel about to the other extreme. --South.

3. To go round in a circuit; to fetch a compass.

Then wheeling down the steep of heaven he flies.
--Pope.

4. To roll forward.

Thunder mixed with hail, Hail mixed with fire, must
rend the Egyptian sky, And wheel on the earth,
devouring where it rolls. --Milton.

Synonyms: bicycle, bicycle, bike, bike, cycle, pedal, rack, roll, roulette wheel, steering wheel, wheel around

See Also: all-terrain bike, backpedal, balance wheel, bicycle seat, bicycle wheel, bicycle-built-for-two, bowl, buffing wheel, car wheel, cartwheel, cartwheel, chain, coaster brake, cogwheel, cycle, daisy print wheel, daisy wheel, driving wheel, emery wheel, felloe, felly, foot lever, foot pedal, game equipment, gear, gear wheel, go, go around, grinding wheel, handlebar, handwheel, helm, instrument of torture, locomote, machine, mountain bike, move, mudguard, nosewheel, off-roader, ordinary, ordinary bicycle, paddle wheel, paddlewheel, pedal, potter's wheel, push-bike, ratchet wheel, revolve, ride, rim, roller, rotate, roulette, rowel, saddle, safety bicycle, safety bike, simple machine, splashguard, sprocket, sprocket wheel, steering mechanism, steering system, tandem, tandem bicycle, toothed wheel, transport, travel, treadle, troll, trundle, velocipede, wagon wheel, water wheel, waterwheel, wheeled vehicle

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