Definition of wheel in English:



  • 1A circular object that revolves on an axle and is fixed below a vehicle or other object to enable it to move over the ground.

    ‘a chair on wheels’
    • ‘Procar is negotiating a number of agreements for the supply of control components, including the wheels, brake pads and suspension items.’
    • ‘The latter device has a flat wheel with a set of perpendicular fins which protrude into the soil.’
    • ‘Council staff undertaking absolutely necessary visits to farms or farmland would disinfect footwear and the wheels of vehicles on entering and leaving.’
    • ‘Small hard, non-pneumatic wheels on forklift vehicles and other equipment often place great stress on any unsupported edges.’
    • ‘In addition, there is, he says, the physical damage caused by tractor wheels and by vehicles moving onto verges on narrow roads.’
    • ‘Papers twirled about effortlessly and left their posts gliding to the ground and crumpling beneath the wheels of my haphazard vehicle.’
    • ‘The rumbling beneath me is suddenly silenced as the wheels leave the ground.’
    • ‘After dividing the rest of the load between the three smaller vans, he drove the fork-lift up the ramp into his vehicle and clamped the wheels.’
    • ‘For example, a passenger aircraft can have a ‘vulnerability’ such as a landing wheel very slightly below pressure, or an entire wing off.’
    • ‘To hold the door at a convenient height, clamp a small board to the track above and below a wheel.’
    • ‘The wheel automatically moves away from the driver when the ignition key is removed and returns when the ignition is switched on.’
    • ‘The wreckage is also likely to be examined to see if there was any mechanical failure with a particular focus on brakes and wheels.’
    • ‘In stand-by configuration, the vehicle's front wheels deploy to the ground like a jet plane landing gear to increase longitudinal stability.’
    • ‘When rolling down, rotate your wrists forward to keep the front wheel grounded.’
    • ‘He bravely took position behind the wheels to move the vehicle and save it from further abuse at the hands of the law.’
    • ‘The sky above her, the wheels below her, barely touching the ground.’
    • ‘The builders did not have the use of wheels or pulleys for moving or lifting loads.’
    • ‘I heard the doors close and saw little in the dimmed light, but I heard an engine starting and wheels moving along the ground.’
    • ‘Ideally the rear wheel moves about a foot sideways, and you go seamlessly from moving at a mild angle on the kerb to moving straight ahead down the street.’
    • ‘They are simply just new ways of scrolling with out moving the scroll wheel.’
    disc, hoop, ring, circle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A circular object that revolves on an axle and forms part of a machine.
      • ‘The gleaming, ultimate, driving machine slows down and stops, two alloy wheels on the footpath, twenty yards from the junction.’
      • ‘Meanwhile other educators having understood the merits of the round wheel, have moved on to the complexities of the axle and the differential.’
      • ‘Patented swivel axle keeps all three wheels on the ground even on sharp turns.’
      • ‘These are the ones with a fixed wheel and a heavy flywheel with loads of centrifugal force.’
      • ‘With a paddle wheel on each side of the ship, it was found far more convenient in terms of visibility to command the ship from a bridge across the driving machinery between the two wheels.’
      • ‘The independent suspension brings the wheels to the ground, keeping the vehicle under control.’
      • ‘She ground her teeth like the gears in her head - fast and getting her nowhere, some useless pieces of machinery spinning an axle but no wheels.’
      • ‘Kelvin surmounted this problem by running a single wire along his machine that went around each wheel, so that the combined effects of all wheels would be represented by the motion at the end of the wire.’
      • ‘According to one witness, one of the attackers disabled the vehicle, taking the wheel off the axle.’
      • ‘You can change the default tags for unknown songs using the machine's control wheel, but it's tricky.’
      • ‘Instead they pumped the water which turned the wheels which powered the machines.’
    2. 1.2Used in reference to the cycle of a specified condition or set of events.
      ‘the final release from the wheel of life’
      • ‘She is 22 but her voice is more blighted bud than rose, an emotional instrument that conveys innocence broken on the wheel of restless craving.’
      • ‘Witness the wheel of progress: Rather than set human beings free from segregation, it is segregation that has been set free.’
      • ‘In doing this, in traveling past the world of desire, he breaks the wheel of karma which binds him to the specific reaction which must follow every action.’
      • ‘They'd have a prayer written on them and every time the wheel made a complete cycle the prayer was ‘said’.’
      • ‘It should not be broken on the wheel of social, racial or other engineering.’
      • ‘A strategic initiative, taken at the highest level to broaden the company's product offering, was broken at the wheel of ignorance.’
      • ‘But each rotation around the cosmic wheel is changed by expanding and escalating technology.’
      • ‘Immortality, the birthless and deathless state of nirvana, lies beyond this cycle of the wheel of life.’
      • ‘Call it the karmic wheel, the hoop of fire, attachment, the source of all suffering.’
      • ‘With this we enter the field of ethical questions, for that is where the problem belongs: What kind of a man must one be if he is to be allowed to put his hand on the wheel of history?’
      • ‘Like the wheel of karma that cycles through every life, the roots of present events can be traced back to earlier events in this or previous lives.’
      • ‘The accompanying circular installation has positive and negative words etched in glass effectively highlighting the role of chance in the wheel of life.’
      • ‘His appointment as Waterford County Manager brought the wheel full cycle, a return for Donal from whence he began.’
      • ‘In this great wheel of Brahman, the life and foundation of all, the soul wanders like a swan, thinking himself and the Inspirer to be separate.’
      • ‘After all, one need openly contemplate the sad litany of child superstars who were broken on the wheel of early success to predict Declan's likely fate.’
      • ‘In other words, he must be the cog in the wheel of events leading up to the result which in fact occurred.’
    3. 1.3historical A large wheel used as an instrument of punishment or torture, especially by binding someone to it and breaking their limbs.
      ‘a man sentenced to be broken on the wheel’
      • ‘The punishment in hell is to broken on the wheel.’
      • ‘Those who resisted were hanged, broken on the wheel, sent to the fortress of Toulon where the water was waist-high.’
      • ‘Calas was broken on the wheel, a grisly process in which the condemned person's limbs were smashed with iron bars and the mutilated corpse raised up for public display on a cartwheel.’
  • 2A machine or structure having a wheel as its essential part.

    1. 2.1The steering wheel of a vehicle or vessel.
      ‘his crew know when he wants to take the wheel’
      • ‘Mr Cantwell introduces the TV ad while sitting behind the wheel of a jeep.’
      • ‘Besides, he needed a break from the helm and her brother had volunteered to take the wheel.’
      • ‘It felt could to have control every once and a while; to take the wheel.’
      • ‘Snag Drum has one of his sick headaches, so his son, fifteen-year-old Ivanhoe, sits behind the wheel of the station wagon.’
      • ‘Put it on a motorway and you could happily sit behind the wheel and watch the miles waft past.’
      • ‘On Sunday, 10 April, Giancarlo Fisichella will take the wheel of his Renault F1 car on the streets of the Italian capital!’
      • ‘The ability to get the wheel motors and control each wheel from a braking, steering and accelerating standpoint.’
      • ‘A week behind the wheel proved it to be a good solid crossover SUV with a firm and quiet ride, as good as anything in the segment.’
      • ‘Gamers will be able to take the wheel of some of the most exclusive high-performance vehicles, all with realistic damage modelling.’
      • ‘Women who ventured to take the wheel were the focus of derogatory reporting in the motor press such as Autocar.’
      • ‘Overall, drivers feel safer and more secure behind the wheel of a town car.’
      • ‘A motorist caught behind the wheel of his company car just three days after being banned for drink driving was more than four times over the limit.’
      • ‘While city streets are best seen from the plush interiors of hired limos, the open road is where you take the wheel yourself and go your own way.’
      • ‘Myrtle was instantly killed, but Daisy kept going before she past out and Gatsby was forced to take the wheel and drive home.’
      • ‘He put his hands behind his head, and told Kaine to take the wheel.’
      • ‘This is a car that lives by its 7,000 rpm redline and brings out the devil in whoever sits behind the wheel.’
      • ‘Discrete buttons mounted behind the wheel give you fingertip control over the gearbox.’
      • ‘Jesse Allen sat behind the wheel of his SUV, happy anxiety flooding his system.’
      • ‘It has the specs to strike fear in the hearts of other supercar owners, but my experience behind the wheel was rather disappointing.’
      • ‘There is far less vibration transmitted through the wheel and steering has a more precise feel.’
      driving, steering, in the driving seat, in the driver's seat, in charge of
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2A device with a revolving disc or drum used in various games of chance.
      • ‘Bingo with spin the wheel takes place on Saturday night in the Community Centre commencing at 8.45 p.m.’
      • ‘Taking a chance on the roulette wheel could lead to empty pockets’
      • ‘Mary Conlon will spin the wheel next week in Ray's.’
      • ‘Casino dealers get ‘tokes’ in chips, not tips, which can be given directly to the dealer between hands, throws of the dice or spins of the wheel.’
      • ‘The very popular weekly bingo with E500 spin the wheel continues on Sataurday night in the community centre starting at 8.45 pm.’
      • ‘Spinning the wheel in two weeks time for a jackpot of 3,500 will be Tom Hughes, Mountross, Headford and it will be held in O'Malley's of Cross.’
      • ‘The ever popular weekly bingo game with spin the wheel continues on Saturday night at 9 o'clock in the Community Centre.’
      • ‘Neighbours and friends will be wishing him the best and hoping that he will get a chance to spin the wheel for the top prize.’
      • ‘The order in which the finalists spin the wheel and perform will be chosen by TODAY at random and that order shall be binding on all the finalists.’
      • ‘Bingo, with spin the wheel, continues on Saturday night in the community centre at 9 p.m. Support greatly appreciated.’
      • ‘This game allowed you to use the touch-screen as a steering device, displaying a wheel, which you drag in order to turn.’
      • ‘In the corner sat a group of guys from Chicago, who were there for the cards, the dice and the roulette wheel, and maybe even a little skiing if time permitted.’
      • ‘The roulette game had a sheet on which was drawn a roulette wheel.’
      • ‘With that in mind, rather than pining for the good old days and spinning the roulette wheel, maybe the solution is to get in the game.’
      • ‘Next Saturday night's pay-out will be 1,400 euro with an added bonus of a chance to spin the wheel for an extra 500 euro!’
      • ‘It was a lot like roulette only with dice instead of a wheel.’
      • ‘For simple systems like roulette wheels, turbulent fluids, and stock markets, I have a lot of experience with this.’
      • ‘A lucky spin of the wheel and then it would be off to a convenient drinking den with your mates; aiming the lethal cork at some unfortunate person and then downing the warm fizzy contents.’
      • ‘Finally she bombed out on the wheel; as it happens, the one game she played where luck is involved.’
      • ‘Michael Moran from Cross won 170 euros spinning the wheel in the Shrule-Glencorrib lotto in the Blackriver Inn last weekend.’
    3. 2.3A system, or a part of a system, regarded as a relentlessly moving machine.
      ‘the wheels of justice’
      • ‘Unlike the emergency response special needs children get in countries such as the US, the wheels of the system grind slowly in Ireland.’
      • ‘Every time you pick up the phone, go shopping, do your banking, use the Internet, or watch a movie, you're spinning the wheels of trade in services.’
      • ‘As the wheels of political community gather momentum, I am left wondering how many similar conversations I will have.’
      • ‘The Northern Gateway was meticulously sculptured with depictions of the miracles associated with the great one, crowned by a wheel of justice.’
      • ‘The President will probably say this case proves that the wheels of justice are turning properly, but the processes are likely to turn slowly.’
      • ‘Poor Malcolm, the idea that the wheels of justice should be on the public record is just a load of elitist nonsense, we can't have ordinary people discover what a dodgy bit of work he is.’
      • ‘While the luxury cars zip around the streets of the town, the wheels of economic and social justice turn a lot more slowly in Anantapur.’
      • ‘Productivity gains would have to become a vital cog in the wheel if firms are to stay competitive and continue to survive in an increasingly tough trading environment.’
      • ‘If the law passes, some people could be ground between the wheels of the court system before the law could be struck down by the Supreme Court.’
      • ‘Remember, the wheels of the justice system can grind very slowly, at least in the US.’
      • ‘At my Leeds secondary modem school we were destined to be apprentices to help grind the wheels of industry, and being ordered and silent, compliant and deferential sums up the ideology.’
      • ‘As the wheels of the grant system grind so slowly this tradition of kindness breaks down in some foster homes who demand that their charges bring in an income.’
      • ‘The country's economic wheels largely depend on the mining industry which uses substantial amounts of diesel.’
      • ‘And so turns the heartbreaking wheel of justice for our local young rebels.’
      • ‘Now home secretary David Blunkett says he's been trying to get the cleric out of circulation in Britain, but the wheels of the legal system grind slowly.’
      • ‘Regardless how long it takes, the wheels of justice turn.’
      • ‘Thus Dreyfuss gave us his character, an ordinary man caught up in wheels of justice spinning out of control, a simple, understated dignity.’
      • ‘Sure, the stock market remains a critical cog in the wheel of the U.S. financial system.’
      • ‘He is an important cog in the wheel of day-to-day communication.’
      • ‘She got away with this, but are we to be mercilessly reduced to cogs in the wheels of medical care systems over which we have lost all control?’
  • 3informal A car.

    ‘she's got wheels now’
    motor car, automobile, motor, machine
    View synonyms
  • 4A thing resembling a wheel, in particular a cheese made in the form of a shallow disc.

    ‘a small wheel of Brie’
    • ‘Then he stands up and proceeds to shave very thin slices of cheese from a large wheel of Gouda.’
    • ‘That's the cheese maker workout section of the day when you turn about a thousand wheels of cheese ranging from two to 12 pounds.’
    • ‘A few days later, I ordered a whole wheel and it was every bit as delightful as the cheese entered in the awards.’
    • ‘To let the air in, the cheese wheel is regularly pierced all the way through with a long needle, and the mold develops all along the thin tunnels thus generated.’
    • ‘A quarter or half a wheel of cheese (a big, round slab) is melted in front of an open fire.’
    • ‘The yard of sausage and wheel of cheese I'd taken to Rwanda to cover the genocide were long gone.’
    • ‘The gatherers in turn supply a network of middlemen who move the animals in trucks to Managua, often secreted between huge wheels of cheese.’
    • ‘She put the wheel of Rothe cheese back on the table and moved toward the door, her hand on the hilt of her dagger.’
    • ‘With perfect wheels of cheese and crackers before me, I misted up a bit.’
    • ‘He bought my parents a quarter of a gouda wheel because he thinks he kept eating all our cheese, this made me laugh a lot.’
    • ‘When it comes to cheese products, wheels, wedges and blocks have slowly but surely given way to dices, slices and shreds.’
    • ‘When the Mexican opens his eyes, a large wheel of cheddar cheese rolls down the hill and lands at his feet!’
    • ‘Ara dropped the cheese wheel and it rolled slowly across the floor.’
    • ‘Raclette is the signature dish of Swiss Alpine cuisine and the fondue-style melted cheese traces its origins back to shepherds who used to scrap hot cheese off a wheel in front of a campfire.’
    • ‘If dinner parties aren't your speed and you'd rather ignore the cruel world by building a pillow fort in your living room and eating a wheel of Brie, just Shay Cheese.’
    • ‘Has the cheese wheel come full circle for Peter Beattie?’
    • ‘He handed the wheel of cheese back to Lena, who had a faintly disgusted look on her face.’
    • ‘She turned around and saw Faber standing at the doorway holding two loaves of bread, a large wheel of cheese, and three bottles of milk.’
  • 5An instance of wheeling; a turn or rotation.

    turn, rotation, pivot, swivel, gyration
    View synonyms
  • 6North American informal

    short for big wheel
  • 7A set of short lines, typically five in number and rhyming, concluding the stanza of a poem.


  • 1[with object] Push or pull (a vehicle with wheels)

    ‘the tea trolley was wheeled out’
    • ‘Mr Rose James F Frad of Wilton Avenue, Chiswick Lane, was summoned for wheeling a bicycle on the footpath.’
    • ‘Traffic police in Wiltshire are urging motorcyclists to ensure they take extra care on the roads as they wheel their machines out at the start of the season.’
    • ‘The guy wheeling the cart left the room and class resumed.’
    • ‘Other news across America: In Boston, police are looking for two men caught on surveillance tape wheeling an ATM machine out of a convenience store.’
    • ‘The lady in white wheeled my mother out of the visitors' lounge and across the lobby, with my father and me following along behind.’
    • ‘A moment later, he came around the building, wheeling a bike forward, one hand on seat, another on the steering wheel.’
    • ‘Later, men wheeled a first-aid cart down the street, to bandage the wounded, and it wasn't like paint at all.’
    • ‘A man wheeling his shopping cart through a toy store pulls up short in front of a huge box on a shelf.’
    • ‘He's barely wheeled his scooter out of the side gate before I'm leaning precariously out of the bedroom window scanning the street for speeding cars, rabid dogs and men with pockets full of puppies.’
    • ‘The 33-year-old nearly knocked over an elderly man who was wheeling his bike across the road as he drove away from the pursuing patrol car.’
    • ‘The kids start to wheel their bikes down the road.’
    • ‘I used to joke in the shows that the declining power of New Zealand men came about when they started wheeling suitcases on those sad little wheels.’
    • ‘But after explaining about her incredible journey, Ms Lee was allowed to wheel her trusty bike into the park to take some triumphant photos.’
    • ‘Bauer wheels the combat craft on a dime, pointing the bow to the shore.’
    • ‘I wheeled the cart into the store; there was a clerk by the seed section, and I asked if they carried any Moneywort seed.’
    • ‘Several nurses bustled around wheeling carts of medicine or copying data from the displays into notebooks.’
    • ‘The most likely explanation for Harry's disappearance was that he had slipped out of the gate when I was wheeling my bike into the garden after a longish lunch in town.’
    • ‘Jack is wheeling the hay cart in as Grandad and I head back through the stable.’
    • ‘And I wheeled it out of the garage to Grease theme music.’
    • ‘The lady of the wheel did not apparently feel it incumbent on her to ring her bell, but succeeded in running against the other lady, and wheeling the cycle over her foot.’
    push, trundle, roll
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object and adverbial of direction]Carry in or on a vehicle with wheels.
      ‘a young woman is wheeled into the operating theatre’
      • ‘About the time I was being wheeled off on a stretcher into the operating theater, it suddenly occurred to me that I had no control whatsoever.’
      • ‘I wondered if this little boy could speak any English, when I saw the same young boy I'd seen at the elevators be wheeled into the room.’
      • ‘The door opened and two orderlies wheeled in a bed carrying a sheet-shrouded form.’
      • ‘As Amanda was wheeled into the operating theatre she believed she was going to die and began to cry.’
      • ‘Very often these precious children are carried into these death traps in carry cots or wheeled in, in prams.’
      • ‘While a group of nurses wheeled the young woman into a hospital room, Dresers noticed that the woman's eyelids were fluttering.’
      • ‘Here I was being wheeled in the operating room for a serious procedure on my right knee.’
      • ‘In the observation room of the Angel Grove Hospital two nurses and one doctor wheeled a young man in to have X-rays taken.’
      • ‘Patients being wheeled to operating theatres for surgery are at risk, particularly if they are on a drip or a feed.’
      • ‘First off, knowing what I know now, this man should have been wheeled into the Operating Room straight from Casualty for Emergency Surgery.’
      • ‘I wasn't wheeled into the operating-theatre with the wrong name strapped to my wrist.’
      • ‘The patient had received large doses of narcotic pain medication, and my partner and I were wheeling him through the hospital on our stretcher while carrying on a conversation with him.’
      • ‘Others recalled spotting the attractive brunette in the village post office buying sweets for her children, wheeling her youngest daughter, who was two, in a pushchair.’
      • ‘In just a few minutes, a medical team comes together, and doctors and paramedics take up their stations as the patient is wheeled into the operation theatre.’
      • ‘The surgery on Maria Teresa and Maria de Jesus Quiej-Alvarez began about six hours after they were wheeled into the operating theatre.’
      • ‘As soon as the child falls asleep due to the medication, he or she is wheeled into the operation theatre.’
      • ‘All sorts of people take part in the hour-long walks, from pensioners to young mums wheeling buggies to those who want some human company while taking the dog for a walk.’
      • ‘On an unseasonally nippy May Tuesday, two women, a man and a young girl wheeling a baby's buggy, set about cracking open the votes in Kinsealy.’
      • ‘The team flew into action, wheeling Martin through the swinging double doors and into the operating bay.’
      • ‘As the young orderly wheeled me to my brother's hospital room, on one weekday evening, I had time to think.’
    2. 1.2informal Produce something that is unimpressive because it has been frequently seen or heard before.
      ‘the old journalistic arguments have been wheeled out’
      • ‘The bit that got me was where various pundits were wheeled out on Radios Four and Five to say ‘Thank God nobody's been killed’.’
      • ‘Then Koizumi's secret weapons were wheeled out: glamorous female celebrity candidates.’
      • ‘Labour's big guns were wheeled out in York today, three days before the city's crucial Bootham ward by-election.’
      • ‘So whenever a blockbuster is wheeled out for some pre-release drum-beating there is a pretty good chance Bruckheimer will be on that publicity merry-go-round.’
      • ‘Celebrities were wheeled out, and they'd just stand there and tell anecdotes.’
      • ‘After this unmatchable early peak, the usual karaoke classics were wheeled out.’
      • ‘Assorted community groups were wheeled out to be presented with cheques for a couple of thousand dollars here and there.’
      • ‘And the same argument was wheeled out last week by Scottish Secretary John Reid.’
      • ‘Actually, this last argument has been wheeled out this season by conservatives.’
      • ‘The usual suspects were wheeled out to make a comment.’
  • 2[no object] (of a bird or aircraft) fly in a wide circle or curve.

    ‘the birds wheeled and dived’
    • ‘Wander among the trees at sunset, with the birds wheeling and whistling overhead, and see if you don't hear the sound of children laughing.’
    • ‘Curlews wheeled with gulls, rooks, and a busy jet or two.’
    • ‘The helicopter wheeled away, dragging a Kendal mountain rescuer, who was still dangling from its cable, with it.’
    • ‘Throughout the prayers, a group of fascinating birds were wheeling and dipping above our heads as if they were on some kind of ornithological whirlwind tour of the airwaves surrounding the Temple Mount.’
    • ‘The conversation continued for a few more seconds, and then the birds started wheeling away.’
    • ‘As he approached the towers a salty breeze whipped against his skin, A few birds circled overhead, wheeling absently in fatigue above the barren lands.’
    • ‘As gannets wheeled and dived into the blue-green waters, Muiris scattered most of the ashes over the sea.’
    • ‘Mother Nature is bountiful: golden eagles wheel, harriers swoop, otters play.’
    • ‘Other cases are shots of birds wheeling overhead, or dog teams riding, or kayak trips, or cleaning blubber that are all too long.’
    • ‘Barrel rolls, loops and dives featured as the three aircraft wheeled gracefully over the expanse of Sydney Harbour.’
    • ‘And instead to walk with Angus to Ruadh Dearg where waves curled and crashed and lathered the rocks, where birds wheeled and screeched among the cliffs.’
    • ‘The birds are wheeling in flight over the islands and it really is a fantastic spectacle.’
    • ‘Gulls wheeled and screamed over the first slug of spawning candlefish.’
    • ‘Dozens of swifts wheel in and out through a 2-foot square hole high in the wall.’
    • ‘For a quarter of an hour they wheeled and circled, rose and sank and effortlessly rose again as the thermal draughts supported them.’
    • ‘A light aircraft wheeled in a window of blue sky, then disappeared and tranquillity returned.’
    • ‘Above him, sea birds wheeled and called and although he couldn't see a beach, he could hear the gentle wash of waves on the shore.’
    • ‘In the distance I could see the birds wheeling and diving into the clear blue waters of the Gulf.’
    • ‘Turkey Vultures wheeled over the highway; another flapped awkwardly against the cool air.’
    • ‘Day by day the distance covered varies but on the toughest section competitors run almost 50 miles with only other runners and eagles wheeling high above for company.’
    turn, turn round, go round, rotate, revolve, circle, orbit
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Turn round quickly so as to face another way.
      ‘Robert wheeled round to see the face of Mr Mafouz’
      • ‘Sitara wheeled around in surprise, to come face to face with Rolan Snow.’
      • ‘Matt wheeled around and stormed back up the stairs.’
      • ‘Kenneth wheeled around and stared at his brother with intense eyes.’
      • ‘Credo pulled his horse up and wheeled around quickly to look behind him, where Erial pointed.’
      • ‘Creighton wheeled around and almost lost his balance.’
      • ‘Andy wheeled round and stamped back towards us until he was face to face with the suspicious rebel.’
      • ‘Mr. Beaumont wheeled around and stared directly at Mathias.’
      • ‘On his balcony, Khaiber wheeled around and tried to squeeze off a few frames of an aircraft roaring overhead.’
      • ‘I wheeled around and found myself face to face with Lily.’
      • ‘He wheeled around, dragging Gabrielle with him down the hall.’
      • ‘On to Redlands Quarry where oystercatchers wheeled around gantries and mountains of gravel.’
      • ‘Mrs. Lopez wheeled around and whispered something in Eddie's ear.’
      • ‘The man wheeled around to face her, glaring coldly.’
      • ‘Hearing a slight noise to her left, she wheeled round again and stormed along the corridor, cursing Brunton's obsession with mazes.’
      • ‘She wheeled around quickly and saw a young boy, maybe 11, holding onto the reigns of a young foal.’
      • ‘Instead there was a ragbag of patients from all strata of society being wheeled around looking rather forlorn.’
      • ‘With an incredible burst of speed, Jack passed up the Frisbee, grabbed it, wheeled around and threw it back at Sam.’
      • ‘Then, just as quickly, his expression returned to hard resolve as he wheeled around to face the large windows in front of him.’
      • ‘He swore as he bent low over the bars, angrily straining on the pedals, gathering speed as he wheeled round the corner and into the drive.’
      • ‘Realizing this, she wheeled around and threw her aching, exhausted legs into a run, stopping only to throw herself into Alain's arms.’
    2. 2.2Turn or seem to turn on an axis or pivot.
      ‘the stars wheeled through the sky’
      • ‘The constellations are wheeling above him as he heads for the promise of the low, distant lights.’
      • ‘I wheeled with the stars, my heart broke free on the open sky.’
      • ‘While the Earth wheeled around its sun, so I was privileged to hear, that earth and its moon wheeled around each other.’
      • ‘The constellations wheel around us, ribbons of nebula drift into view, scintillate and are left behind.’
      • ‘Overhead, the stars wheel in the heavens and a bright, bright moon shines down on the fields and on the house itself, for it's clear tonight.’
      • ‘The sky was wheeling overhead; we were brave and safe.’
      • ‘We are at the midpoint between the summer solstice and the fall equinox, a time of warm weather but slowly declining light as the earth wheels toward the dark hinge of the year in late December.’
      • ‘When the Moon wheels around to oppose the Sun for the last time in 2012, Mercury will be within a day of its annual conjunction with the core of our galaxy on the back porch of Sagittarius.’
      • ‘The water was so clear you could see the clouds of fish wheeling about in it's crystalline depths.’
      • ‘His manipulative aides complete a trio of fates, a malign constellation wheeling round Herman on the huge empty stage like a ghoulish mobile.’
      • ‘He crept forth into the town square, keeping one eye on the clouds wheeling overhead.’


  • oil (or north americangrease) the wheels

    • Help something go smoothly.

      ‘compliments oil the wheels of life’
  • on someone's wheel

    • Close behind someone when they are driving or cycling.

      ‘I had dominated the race early on and he sat on my wheel’
      • ‘Finally, with about 2km to go, I got right on Petacchi 's wheel and right then, guess who showed up?’
      • ‘In sprinting you can't say that because a guy was bad last week I don't want to be sitting on his wheel this week.’
      • ‘I sat back behind him a couple of spots and then as we were coming in toward the finish, I waited to see what I could do to move him up, maybe take him on my wheel and launch an attack.’
      • ‘Not at all an unfamiliar sight for American racing fans was the image of Horner sitting on Lance 's wheel up the final climb yesterday.’
      • ‘Piil is constantly looking behind him with Sacchi on his wheel as the sprint is on.’
  • on wheels

    • 1By, or travelling by, car or bicycle.

      ‘a journey on wheels’
      • ‘Staveley's Rob Jebb became only the second athlete to win the Three Peaks on foot and on wheels at the weekend, writes Mike Addison.’
      • ‘They arrive on wheels, travel through the hospital on wheels and may be prescribed medicine, which originates from plants and minerals.’
      • ‘Parents need to be more aware if their children are on wheels they should be wearing helmets,’ he said.’
      1. 1.1British informal Smoothly.
        ‘the business ran on wheels’
        • ‘A business solution on wheels: international and IBM collaborate on a telematics system that will change the way fleets do business’
    • 2Used to emphasize one's distaste or dislike of the person or thing mentioned.

      ‘she was a bitch on wheels’
      • ‘Basically Candida is a bitch on wheels, and having spent the entire play trying to win her heart, Marchbanks, the weedy poet, fails in his quest and Candida chooses to stay with her husband.’
      • ‘Brilliant negotiator but she can be one hell of a bitch on wheels.’
      • ‘A little religious bitch on wheels in my house and probably going to our school as well.’
      • ‘If I don't get my way, I turn into a bitch on wheels (as someone once said), or I just feel miserable.’
      • ‘As played by Natasha Smith, she is simply a bitch on wheels, too abrasive and dour for us to even like.’
      • ‘Push her far enough and she becomes a screaming bitch on wheels.’
      • ‘Shaking her head with disgust, she stormed off down the street trying to keep and long distance between her and the bitch on wheels.’
      • ‘She beat you up, had you in a hospital for four days, not to mention discolored every part of your anatomy, and you still think that bitch on wheels is hot?’
      • ‘He had just broken up with his ex-girlfriend Sara, a real bitch on wheels.’
      • ‘The search is on for at least one childhood friend who will say the celebrity was a bitch on wheels; at least one disgruntled co-worker who will reveal all about the hissy fits in the dressing room.’
  • silly as a wheel

    • Very silly.

      ‘he was mad, cracked, silly as a wheel’
  • wheel and deal

    • Engage in commercial or political scheming, especially unscrupulously.

      ‘the wheeling and dealing of the Wall Street boom years’
      • ‘The last-minute negotiations for Republican votes resembled the wheeling and dealing on a car lot.’
      • ‘Although these will certainly play a key part in appealing to people around the world, political wheeling and dealing are essential too.’
      • ‘But with his wheeling and dealing, he was too big a threat.’
      • ‘For his part Preece recognises the part he has to play in the arrangement and has been busy wheeling and dealing with four players leaving the club on loan deals in the last week.’
      • ‘But I leave all that other wheeling and dealing to my husband.’
      • ‘Similarly we are not interested in the political wheeling and dealing between the major parties that shapes council business.’
      • ‘Both were incapable of disengaging from political wheeling and dealing when it mattered.’
      • ‘They're mostly employed in what they consider to be honorable pursuits, the wheeling and dealing, the bestowing of favors in the form of contracts, and generally being unproductive.’
      • ‘I'm just angry at the wheeling and dealing that goes on in politics.’
      • ‘In the model of ethnic democracy minorities are disadvantaged but can improve their position through politics of wheeling and dealing.’
  • the wheel of fortune

    • The wheel which the deity Fortune is represented as turning as a symbol of random luck or change.

      ‘he was powerless to stop the inexorable wheel of Fortune from taking her from him’
      • ‘The sale was a good success and great fun with many prizes won on the wheel of Fortune and in the various raffles.’
      • ‘The ballet opens and closes with an invocation to ever-changing fate and the wheel of Fortune.’
  • wheels within wheels

    • Used to indicate that a situation is complicated and affected by secret or indirect influences.

      ‘the wheels within wheels began to turn and efforts were made to have the sentence reduced’
      • ‘Wheels within wheels within wheels, everybody fact-checks every one else, and the truth eventually is found.’
      • ‘Sources tell us that Nine saved itself a big sum thanks to this fortuitous family connection, which adds wheels within wheels within wheels to the story.’
      • ‘Taberah felt dizzy with the complexity, or more accurately, giddy, drunk; he heard wheels within wheels within wheels within wheels.’
      • ‘The foibles and frictions, the political in-fighting and wheels within wheels are the same wherever the spotlights spark up.’
      • ‘Omar claims he kidnapped Daniel on his own accord but there are wheels within wheels and one may never come to know the true mastermind behind this kidnapping.’
      • ‘But of course there are wheels within wheels, and who knows which way they're turning?’
      • ‘The Music Box is a perfect distillation of comic character, and it contains wheels within wheels of humiliation for our heroes.’
      • ‘And as it all unravelled, cosy deals, lax auditing, wheels within wheels, and slippery accounting was exposed.’
      • ‘That there are, wheels within wheels, is something that the liberals fail to see.’
      • ‘He gets that sense that nobody really knows what's going on, of wheels within wheels or a wilderness of mirrors.’


Old English hwēol (noun), of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit cakra wheel, circle and Greek kuklos circle.