From Middle English whele, from Old English hwēoġol, hwēol, from Proto-Germanic *hwehwlą (compare West Frisian tsjil, Dutch wiel, Danish hjul), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷekʷlóm, *kʷékʷlos (compare Tocharian B kokale (“cart, wagon”), Ancient Greek κύκλος (kúklos, “cycle, wheel”), Avestan [script needed] (čaxrō)[script needed], Sanskrit चक्र (cakrá)), reduplication of *kʷel- (“to turn”) and a suffix (meaning "the thing that turns and turns"; compare Welsh dymchwel (“to overturn, upset”), Latin colere (“to till, cultivate”), Tocharian A and B käl (“to bear; bring”), Ancient Greek (Aeolic) πέλεσθαι (pélesthai, “to be in motion”), Old Church Slavonic коло (kolo, “wheel”), Albanian sjell (“to bring, carry, turn around”), Avestan [script needed] (čaraiti, “it circulates”)[script needed], Sanskrit चरति (cárati, “it moves, wanders”)).
- enPR: wēl, IPA(key): /wiːl/, /hwiːl/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -iːl
- Homophones: wheal, weal (in accents with the wine-whine merger), we'll (in accents with the wine-whine merger)
wheel (plural wheels)
- 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.
- (informal, with "the") A steering wheel and its implied control of a vehicle.
- (nautical) The instrument attached to the rudder by which a vessel is steered.
- A spinning wheel.
- A potter's wheel.
- (heraldry) This device used as a heraldic charge, usually with six spokes.
- A wheel-like device used as an instrument of torture or punishment.
- (slang) A person with a great deal of power or influence; a big wheel.
- (poker slang) The lowest straight in poker: ace, 2, 3, 4, 5.
- (automotive) Wheel rim.
- A round portion of cheese.
- A Catherine wheel firework.
- (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?)
- A turn or revolution; rotation; compass.
- Weisenberg, Michael (2000) The Official Dictionary of Poker. MGI/Mike Caro University. ISBN 978-1880069523
- (intransitive or transitive) To roll along as on wheels.
- Wheel that trolley over here, would you?
- (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.
- (transitive) To transport something or someone using any wheeled mechanism, such as a wheelchair.
- (transitive) To put into a rotatory motion; to cause to turn or revolve; to make or perform in a circle.
- The beetle wheels her droning flight.
- Now heaven, in all her glory, shone, and rolled / Her motions, as the great first mover's hand / First wheeled their course.