Meaning of “wheel” in the English Dictionary

"wheel" in British English

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wheelnoun

uk /wiːl/ us /wiːl/

A2 [ C ] a circular object connected at the centre to a bar, used for making vehicles or parts of machines move:

I got my bag caught in the wheel of my bicycle.
He lost control of his car when a front/rear wheel hit a rock as he approached the first bend.
on wheels

Something that is on wheels has wheels under it so that it can be pulled or pushed along:

My suitcase is on wheels so that makes life a little easier.
I bought my niece one of those toy dogs on wheels.
the wheel

B2 a steering wheel (= a wheel inside a vehicle that the driver turns to make the vehicle go in a particular direction):

Keep your hands on the wheel!
I never feel safe with Richard at/behind the wheel (= driving).
Do you think you could take the wheel (= drive) for a couple of hours?

[ C ] a wooden or metal wheel that is turned to make a ship go in a particular direction

wheels [ plural ] old-fashioned informal

a car:

I've got to get some wheels - the buses are way too slow!

More examples

  • Remember to apply plenty of oil so that the wheel can rotate freely.
  • It was a real job getting the wheel off the bike.
  • The height of the steering wheel is adjustable.
  • I tried to move forwards but the wheels had locked.
  • The piano's on wheels, so we can roll it into the room.

wheelverb

uk /wiːl/ us /wiːl/

wheel verb (PUSH)

[ T usually + adv/prep ] to push an object that has wheels so that it moves in a particular direction:

I saw her last night wheeling a buggy along Green Lane.
Halfway through the talk someone wheeled in a trolley laden with drinks.
Doctors put her on a respirator and wheeled her downstairs to intensive care.

wheel verb (TURN AROUND)

[ I ] US to turn round quickly:

She suddenly wheeled and looked directly at me.
Mike wheeled on Tom and started shouting.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “wheel” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"wheel" in American English

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wheelnoun [ C ]

us /hwil, wil/

wheel noun [ C ] (ROUND OBJECT)

a circular object, connected at the center to a bar, that is used for making vehicles or parts of machines move:

the wheel of a bicycle

The wheel refers to a steering wheel (= wheel in a vehicle that you turn to make the vehicle go left or right):

I never feel safe with Richard behind the wheel (= driving).
Would you mind taking the wheel (= driving) for a couple of hours?

wheelverb

us /hwil, wil/

wheel verb (CHANGE DIRECTION)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to turn around quickly:

She wheeled around and slapped his face.

wheel verb (ROUND OBJECT)

[ T always + adv/prep ] to push or pull an object with wheels under it:

She was wheeling a stroller in the park.

(Definition of “wheel” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)