Pronunciation: (hwēl, wēl), [key]
1. a circular frame or disk arranged to revolve on an axis, as on or in vehicles or machinery.
2. any machine, apparatus, instrument, etc., shaped like this or having a circular frame, disk, or revolving drum as an essential feature: a potter's wheel; roulette wheel; spinning wheel.
3. See steering wheel.
a. a circular frame with an axle connecting to the rudder of a ship, for steering: He took the wheel during the storm.
b. a paddle wheel.
c. a propeller.
5. Informal.a bicycle.
6. a round object, decoration, etc.: a wheel of cheese; a design of red wheels and blue squares.
7. an old instrument of torture in the form of a circular frame on which the victim was stretched until disjointed.
8. a circular firework that revolves rapidly while burning; pinwheel.
9. a rotating instrument that Fortune is represented as turning in order to bring about changes or reverses in human affairs.
a. moving, propelling, or animating agencies: the wheels of commerce; the wheels of thought.
b. Slang.a personal means of transportation, esp. a car.
11. a cycle, recurring action, or steady progression: the wheel of days and nights.
12. a wheeling or circular movement: the intricate wheels of the folk dances.
13. (formerly) a movement of troops, ships, etc., drawn up in line, as if turning on a pivot.
14. Informal.someone active and influential, as in business, politics, etc.; an important person: a big wheel.
15. at the wheel,
a. at the helm of a ship, the steering wheel of a motor vehicle, etc.
b. in command or control: Her ambition is to be at the wheel of a large corporation by the age of 40.
16. hell on wheels. See hell (def. 16).
17. spin one's wheels, Informal.to expend or waste effort to no avail: He spun his wheels on that project for two years.
18. wheels within wheels, an involved interaction of motives or agencies operating to produce the final result: Government agencies are a study of wheels within wheels.
1. to cause to turn, rotate, or revolve, as on an axis.
2. to perform (a movement) in a circular or curving direction.
3. to move, roll, or convey on wheels, casters, etc.: The servants wheel the tables out.
4. to provide (a vehicle, machine, etc.) with wheels.
1. to turn on or as on an axis or about a center; revolve, rotate, or pivot.
2. to move in a circular or curving course: pigeons wheeling above.
3. to turn so as to face in a different direction (often fol. by about or around): He wheeled about and faced his opponent squarely.
4. to change one's opinion or procedure (often fol. by about or around): He wheeled around and argued for the opposition.
5. to roll along on or as on wheels; travel along smoothly: The car wheeled along the highway.
6. Brit. Mil.to turn: Right wheel!
7. wheel and deal, Informal.to operate dynamically for one's own profit or benefit.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.