Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Wheel

Wheel

(hwēl)
,
Noun.
[OE.
wheel
,
hweol
, AS.
hweól
,
hweogul
,
hweowol
; akin to D.
wiel
, Icel.
hvēl
, Gr.
κύκλος
, Skr.
cakra
; cf. Icel.
hjōl
, Dan.
hiul
, Sw.
hjul
. √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.
☞ 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.
☞ “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!
Shakespeare
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 aery
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
(Zool.)
,
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
(Zool.)
,
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
(Zool.)
,
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

,
Verb.
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

,
Verb.
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.

Webster 1828 Edition


Wheel

WHEEL

,
Noun.
1.
A circular frame of wood, iron or other metal, consisting of a nave or hub, into which are inserted spokes which sustain a rim or felly; the whole turning on an axis. The name is also given to a solid circular or round piece of wood or metal, which revolves on an axis. The wheel and axle constitute one of the mechanical powers.
2.
A circular body.
3.
A carriage that moves on wheels.
4.
An instrument for torturing criminals; as an examination made by the rack and the wheel.
5.
A machine for spinning thread, of various kinds.
6.
Rotation; revolution; turn; as the vicissitude and wheel of things.
7.
A turning about; a compass.
He throws his flight in many an airy wheel.
8.
In pottery, a round board turned by a lathe in a horizontal position, on which the clay is shaped by the hand.

Definition 2021


wheel

wheel

English

Noun

A wheel on a 1991 Cadillac Fleetwood d'Elegance
Painting of a wheel (instrument of torture)
Wheels of cheese (gouda)

wheel (plural wheels)

  1. A circular device capable of rotating on its axis, facilitating movement or transportation or performing labour in machines.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The departure was not unduly prolonged. [] Within the door Mrs. Spoker hastily imparted to Mrs. Love a few final sentiments on the subject of Divine Intention in the disposition of buckets; farewells and last commiserations; a deep, guttural instigation to the horse; and the wheels of the waggonette crunched heavily away into obscurity.
    1. (informal, with "the") A steering wheel and its implied control of a vehicle.
    2. (nautical) The instrument attached to the rudder by which a vessel is steered.
    3. A spinning wheel.
    4. A potter's wheel.
      • Bible, Jeremiah xviii. 3
        Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
      • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
        Turn, turn, my wheel! This earthen jar / A touch can make, a touch can mar.
    5. (heraldry) This device used as a heraldic charge, usually with six spokes.
  2. A wheel-like device used as an instrument of torture or punishment.
  3. (slang) A person with a great deal of power or influence; a big wheel.
  4. (poker slang) The lowest straight in poker: ace, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  5. (automotive) A wheelrim.
  6. A round portion of cheese.
  7. A Catherine wheel firework.
  8. (obsolete) A rolling or revolving body; anything of a circular form; a disk; an orb.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  9. A turn or revolution; rotation; compass.
    • Robert South (1634–1716)
      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.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      [He] throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel.
  10. (computing, dated) A superuser on certain systems.

Synonyms

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References

Verb

wheel (third-person singular simple present wheels, present participle wheeling, simple past and past participle wheeled)

  1. (intransitive or transitive) To roll along as on wheels.
    Wheel that trolley over here, would you?
  2. (intransitive) To travel around in large circles, particularly in the air.
    The vulture wheeled above us.
    • 2014 September 7, Natalie Angier, “The Moon comes around again [print version: Revisiting a moon that still has secrets to reveal: Supermoon revives interest in its violent origins and hidden face, International New York Times, 10 September 2014, p. 8]”, in The New York Times:
      As the moon wheels around Earth every 28 days and shows us a progressively greater and then stingier slice of its sun-lightened face, the distance between the moon and Earth changes, too. At the nearest point along its egg-shaped orbit, its perigee, the moon may be 26,000 miles closer to us than it is at its far point.
  3. (transitive) To transport something or someone using any wheeled mechanism, such as a wheelchair.
  4. (transitive) To put into a rotatory motion; to cause to turn or revolve; to make or perform in a circle.
    • Gray
      The beetle wheels her droning flight.
    • Milton
      Now heaven, in all her glory, shone, and rolled / Her motions, as the great first mover's hand / First wheeled their course.

Derived terms

Translations