Definition of Ferris wheel in US English:

Ferris wheel


  • An amusement-park or fairground ride consisting of a giant vertical revolving wheel with passenger cars suspended on its outer edge.

    • ‘One company wants to build a giant Ferris wheel which would whisk people 177 ft above the National Railway Museum.’
    • ‘It will be based on the north-side of the River Suir for the week and will feature Ireland's biggest roller coaster and a giant Ferris wheel that will provide some of the best views of the fleet of tall ships.’
    • ‘At one point I found myself riding the Ferris wheel in Dam Square trying to see how fast I could spin the bucket.’
    • ‘Instead they were waiting patiently - and soberly - for a ride on the Ferris wheel, punching each other playfully and teasing about girlie things.’
    • ‘No visit to the carnival is complete with a ride on the Ferris wheel.’
    • ‘The last ride of the evening was the giant Ferris wheel.’
    • ‘The boardwalk was alight with rides, stands, and a giant Ferris wheel.’
    • ‘In Fun Fair Zone, kids and the young-at-heart can enjoy rides and activities in the festival's spacious Fun Park, which includes Ferris wheels, carousel and the water-dunking game.’
    • ‘Instead of Italian elegance, Venice became known as the playground of the Pacific, with balloon rides, Ferris wheels and arcades.’
    • ‘At the film's beginning, the juvenile protagonists ride a Ferris wheel and fantasize about traveling to the sea, a child-like sentiment never to be repeated.’
    • ‘In fact, the famed Brooklyn amusement park is a recurring motif in these paintings that feature carousel horses, Ferris wheels, fireworks, rockets and extravagant fantasy architecture.’
    • ‘A giant seesaw took the place of the Ferris wheel that had been a symbol of the Chicago fair.’
    • ‘It was a pure stroke of luck that our last ride was near the giant Ferris wheel and we sank down onto the rocking metal seats with relief.’
    • ‘I was expecting the largest Ferris wheel, but it was apparently the oldest Ferris wheel.’
    • ‘Even the giant Ferris wheel on the River Thames, now a big hit, was shut down for months because of loose widgets, or some such.’
    • ‘We can hear distant screams of excitement and fear, and the strains of a rock song coming from the carnival at the far end, which has roller coasters and Ferris wheels sprouting up every so often.’
    • ‘It's virtually a fun fair at Tableland now, with games stalls, buggy rides, Ferris wheels, snack shops and other rides being available.’
    • ‘Film the museum you visited or the Ferris wheel you rode.’
    • ‘There will be rides in the park here, like the Ferris wheel and stuff, as well as carnival games.’
    • ‘Entry to the centre is free and the entertainment includes pony rides, a Ferris wheel, carousels, a mini train, face painters and circus acts, among other fun things to do.’


Late 19th century: named after George Ferris (1859–96), the American engineer who invented it.


Ferris wheel

/ˈferəs ˌ(h)wēl//ˈfɛrəs ˌ(h)wil/