n. & v.
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.
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).
Phrases and idioms:
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.
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.
Etymology: OE hweol, hweogol f. Gmc