n. & v.
n. 1 a circular frame or disc arranged to revolve on an axle and used to facilitate the motion of a vehicle or for various mechanical purposes. 2 a wheel-like thing (Catherine wheel; potter's wheel; steering wheel). 3 motion as of a wheel, esp. the movement of a line of people with one end as a pivot. 4 a machine etc. of which a wheel is an essential part. 5 (in pl.) sl. a car. 6 US sl. = big wheel 2. 7 a set of short lines concluding a stanza.
v. 1 intr. & tr. a turn on an axis or pivot. b swing round in line with one end as a pivot. 2 a intr. (often foll. by about, round) change direction or face another way. b tr. cause to do this. 3 tr. push or pull (a wheeled thing esp. a barrow, bicycle, or pram, or its load or occupant). 4 intr. go in circles or curves (seagulls wheeling overhead). at the wheel 1 driving a vehicle. 2 directing a ship. 3 in control of affairs. on wheels (or oiled wheels) smoothly. wheel and deal engage in political or commercial scheming. wheel-back adj. (of a chair) with a back shaped like or containing the design of a wheel. wheel-house a steersman's shelter. wheel-lock 1 an old kind of gunlock having a steel wheel to rub against flint etc. 2 a gun with this. wheel of Fortune luck. wheel-spin rotation of a vehicle's wheels without traction. wheels within wheels 1 intricate machinery. 2 colloq. indirect or secret agencies. wheeled adj. (also in comb.). wheelless adj.
[ OE hweol, hweogol f. Gmc ]