- 1[countable] one of the round objects under a car, bicycle, bus, etc. that turns when it moves He braked suddenly, causing the front wheels to skid. One of the boys was pushing the other along in a little box on wheels. She was killed when she was crushed under the wheels of a bus.
- 2[countable, usually singular] the round object used to steer a car, etc. or ship This is the first time I've sat behind the wheel since the accident. A car swept past with Laura at the wheel. Do you want to take the wheel (= drive) now? see also helm, steering wheel
- 3wheels [plural] (informal) a car At last he had his own wheels. in machine
- 4 [countable] a flat, round part in a machine gear wheels see also cartwheel, Ferris wheel, mill wheel, spinning wheel, waterwheel organization/system
- 5wheels [plural] wheel (of something) an organization or a system that seems to work like a complicated machine that is difficult to understand the wheels of bureaucracy/commerce/government, etc. It was Rob's idea. I merely set the wheels in motion (= started the process). -wheeler
- 6(in nouns) a car, bicycle, etc. with the number of wheels mentioned a three-wheeler Idioms
nounjump to other results
a person who is a small part of a large organization
a cog in the machine/wheel (informal)jump to other results
to help something to happen easily and without problems, especially in business or politics
grease the wheelsjump to other results
to start working very hard at a particular task Everyone is going to have to put their shoulder to the wheel.
put your shoulder to the wheeljump to other results
to waste time creating something that already exists and works well There's no point in us reinventing the wheel.
reinvent the wheeljump to other results
a situation which is difficult to understand because it involves complicated or secret processes and decisions There are wheels within wheels in this organization—you never really know what is going on.
wheels within wheelsjump to other results