wheel - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    a round object that turns round and round 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. a.
      any machine or piece of equipment that is shaped like a wheel, or that has a wheel as its main part
    2. 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.