Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definition

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] wheel pronunciation in American English /wil/ wheel pronunciation in American English /hwil/ 
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a round object that turns around and around to make a car, bicycle, or other vehicle move

    a bicycle/wagon/car wheel

    the front/rear wheels of a car

    on wheels:

    a TV table on wheels

    1. a.


      [plural] very informal a car

      The girls go for the boy with the nicest-looking wheels.

  2. 2
    a round part inside a machine that fits into another similar part and makes it turn
    1. b.

      the wheel

      the steering wheel that is used for controlling a car or other vehicle

      She had to turn the wheel sharply to avoid the dog.

      take the wheel (=to drive):

      Would you like me to take the wheel for a while?

      at/behind the wheel (=driving):

      It seems he had a heart attack at the wheel.

      I can't wait to get behind the wheel again.

  3. 3


    [plural] processes or forces that cause particular things to happen or make progress
    the wheels of industry/justice/government:

    The wheels of government grind very slowly.



a paid holiday given to a new employee before they start their job

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

selfie stick

an expandable stick which you attach to a mobile phone or camera to help you take a selfie …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog