Definition of fifth wheel in English:

fifth wheel


North American
  • 1An extra wheel for a four-wheeled vehicle.

    • ‘Mann adds that a sliding fifth wheel helps drivers get into tight places.’
    • ‘And while you're driving, why don't you give a thought and a thanks to those nameless engineers and designers who have devoted so much attention to this most important fifth wheel.’
    1. 1.1informal A superfluous person or thing.
      • ‘Chris had remarried, and Gill felt like a fifth wheel while living with him, his new wife, and his two stepchildren.’
      • ‘As a bloke in the delivery suite, you always feel like a fifth wheel anyway.’
      • ‘I was always the third wheel - or rather, fifth wheel.’
      • ‘I was now the fifth wheel, and I hated being the fifth wheel.’
      • ‘Armed with a meat and cheese tray and some chips and dip, she was determined to make it through the day, however, even if it meant being a fifth wheel and having to see Nolan and Kari together.’
      • ‘Whenever I go out with my friends, I feel like the fifth wheel.’
      • ‘I remembered The Duo hardly ever had double dates together, since Devon and Jemma thought I would feel left out if I was not invited, and I would be the fifth wheel if I joined.’
      • ‘It was nice to feel like we were a part of the program instead of a fifth wheel and a pain in the neck.’
      • ‘I grew tired of being the fifth wheel so I got up and went into my room to study.’
      • ‘Judge George Hatch always felt like a fifth wheel when he was invited to join his four friends.’
      • ‘Don't they become fifth wheels, spinning pointlessly in relation to the processes responsible for human action?’
      • ‘I felt like a fifth wheel and I hated it, but I didn't say anything.’
      • ‘I could have gone by myself, but it wouldn't have been a smart thing to do because two couples and the fifth wheel usually don't work out too well to begin with.’
      • ‘Oh come on, we still need to find out who the fifth wheel is.’
      • ‘In 1959, when he died, Bloch's work was pretty much a fifth wheel in the wider classical-music world.’
      • ‘Months of double dates with me as the fifth wheel flashed before my eyes.’
      • ‘We were at the mall and I was trailing behind the two couples going in and out of the conversation and feeling very much like a fifth wheel.’
      • ‘Though they tried to include me in their activities I generally declined their invitations not wanting to be a third wheel or a fifth wheel or a seventh wheel.’
      • ‘Josh, his date, Jessica, Mary and Jason all went as a group of friends, but the whole night Jessica felt like the fifth wheel.’
      • ‘Socially, I don't think it's impacted me - my friends are good about not making me the fifth wheel, it's not keeping me from jobs or anything.’
  • 2A coupling between a vehicle used for towing and a trailer.

    • ‘We are now equipped with a new truck and fifth wheel and ready to follow the sun once more.’
    1. 2.1also fifth-wheel trailer A trailer with accommodation for camping out.
      • ‘Thompson, 40, got off to a late start this season after the purchase of a new truck and fifth wheel trailer, but he has since been racing at Division 5 events.’
      • ‘When Ruth and I hit the road from 1992 to 1994 in our 3/4 ton Chevy truck and our fifth wheel trailer, with the blessings of the Steering Committee we became roving ambassadors for OLOC.’
      • ‘Then I camped with a tent and a sleeping bag, now we stay in a 28 ft. fifth wheel trailer which also has a slide out dining room.’
      • ‘We'd buy a large pickup truck and a fifth-wheel trailer and would travel the United States indefinitely - a retirement many couples enjoy immensely.’
      • ‘Bryan's father, my mom's brother and his wife had left the week before Christmas to drive to Florida in their fifth wheel and new trailer.’
      • ‘But we also have what we call towable products, travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers.’
      • ‘On the other hand, my parents own a fifth-wheel trailer.’
      • ‘In February 2003, my wife and I began our year as usual by hooking up our fifth-wheel trailer and travelling south for some winter sun.’
      • ‘We lived in a 26 foot, fifth wheel, RV trailer when Henry died.’
      • ‘Kaliska headed back out to the trailer area where multiple trailers and fifth wheels and tents were set up.’
      • ‘King of the Road has a web site that shows LTM's patio deck which slides under the fifth wheel trailer when not in use, and slides out when you need a place to sit that's up and out of the mud and dirt.’
      • ‘For instance, the F - 350 is once again the class leader with a new tow limit of up to 17,000 lb for a fifth wheel trailer and 15,000 lb for a conventional one.’
      • ‘Hitch-mounted trailers and even gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailers follow the vehicle path much more closely than with conventional two-wheel steering.’
      • ‘He also has a 1971 Fury, a dragster frame and a fifth wheel trailer.’
    2. 2.2historical A horizontal turntable over the front axle of a carriage as an extra support to prevent it tipping.