English

Definition of wheel noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    wheel

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//wiːl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wiːl//
     
    Cycling, Parts of a car, Parts of boats and ships
     
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    on/in vehicles
  1. 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. See related entries: Cycling, Parts of a car
  2. 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 See related entries: Parts of boats and ships
  3. 3wheels [plural] (informal) a car At last he had his own wheels.
  4. in machine
  5. 4  [countable] a flat round part in a machine gear wheels see also cartwheel, Catherine wheel, Ferris wheel, mill wheel, spinning wheel, waterwheel
  6. organization/system
  7. 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).
  8. -wheeled
  9. 6(in adjectives) having the number or type of wheels mentioned a sixteen-wheeled lorry
  10. -wheeler
  11. 7(in nouns) a car, bicycle, etc. with the number of wheels mentioned a three-wheeler See related entries: Cycling
  12. Word Origin Old English hwēol (noun), of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit cakra ‘wheel, circle’ and Greek kuklos ‘circle’.Extra examples A tyre blew and we had to change the wheel. He grabbed the steering wheel from her to prevent the car going off the road. I drove the first 200 miles and then Steve took the wheel. I saw the car drive past, but didn’t recognize the woman behind the wheel. I spend a lot of time behind the wheel. She braked too hard and the wheels locked. She fell under the wheels of a bus. The bus set off again with a fresh driver at the wheel. The political wheel had turned full circle, and he was back in power. The wheels were still going around. Turn the steering wheel hard to the right. the sound of wheels crunching over snow A car swept past with Laura at the wheel. Do you want to take the wheel now? He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and waited. This is the first time I’ve sat behind the wheel since the accident.Idioms
    a cog in the machine/wheel
     
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    (informal) a person who is a small part of a large organization
    grease the wheels (North American English) (British English oil the wheels)
     
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    to help something to happen easily and without problems, especially in business or politics
    oil the wheels (British English) (North American English grease the wheels)
     
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    to help something to happen easily and without problems, especially in business or politics
    put your shoulder to the wheel
     
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    to start working very hard at a particular task Everyone is going to have to put their shoulder to the wheel.
    put a spoke in somebody’s wheel
     
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    (British English) to prevent somebody from putting their plans into operation
    to waste time creating something that already exists and works well There’s no point in us reinventing the wheel. 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.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: wheel