wheel

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wheel.

Through the many millennia of the Paleolithic period and the Neolithic period no use of the wheel was known to humans. Its use was not known to the Native Americans until the Europeans introduced it. In the Old World it came into use in the Bronze Age, when oxen and horses were first used as draft animals and wheeled vehicles were devised. Wheels for vehicles were at first solid wooden disks; spoked wheels were introduced c.2700 B.C. The potter's wheel was invented in the Bronze Age, earlier pottery being made, like that of the Native Americans, without the use of the wheel. See geargear,
toothed wheel, cylinder, or cone that transmits motion from one part of a machine to another; it is one of the oldest means of transmitting motion. When the teeth of two gears are meshed, turning one gear will cause the other to rotate.
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; tiretire,
device made of rubber and fabric and attached to the outer rim of a vehicle wheel. Solid rubber tires were in limited use before 1850; they are still used in some special applications, e.g., for industrial trucks in factories.
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; wheel and axlewheel and axle,
simple machine consisting of a wheel mounted rigidly upon an axle or drum of smaller diameter, the wheel and the axle having the same axis. It is fundamentally a form of lever, the center common to both the wheel and the axle corresponding to the fulcrum, the
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.

Bibliography

See R. J. Forbes, Studies in Ancient Technology (1955); E. Tunis, Wheels (1955); W. Owen et al., ed., Wheels (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wheel

 

a part found in machines and mechanisms; it takes the form of a round plate or of a rim joined by spokes to a hub. A wheel can spin freely on an axle or be fastened to it, and it is used to transmit or convert rotary motion.

The wheel, one of the greatest inventions of mankind, has been known since about the middle of the fourth millenium B.C. (in Mesopotamia). The wheel was an improvement on the wooden rollers that had been used for millennia to move loads. Initially the wheel was a round plate fitted to an axle. In the second millennium B.C., its design was improved: the wheel with spokes, a hub, and a circular rim appeared. Later a metal rim came into use for increased strength and durability, and much later the rim was replaced by the tires used in motor vehicles.

The invention of the wheel furthered the development and improvement of crafts and trades: the potter’s wheel, the grinding wheel in mills, the spinning wheel, and the lathe are all derived from the wheel. With the invention of self-propelled vehicles, the wheel began to act as a link in the propulsion system. Water wheels have been used in irrigation works, manufacturing mills, mines, and elsewhere. In the 19th century the the water wheel as an energy converter was gradually replaced by the turbine, which is also basically a wheel. In a majority of operating machines, the wheel alters the rotation speed, changes the direction of motion, or transfers motion from a horizontal axis to a vertical one or vice versa (in belt and gear drives and the like).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a wheel?

A wheel may indicate completion of a project or the continuation of a familiar situation. A circle is also a spiritual sign of that which has no beginning and no end. Alternatively, the dreamer may be caught in a situation in which he or she feels they are going in a circle.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

wheel

[′wēl]
(design engineering)
A circular frame with a hub at the center for attachment to an axle, about which it may revolve and bear a load.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

wheel

1. a solid disc, or a circular rim joined to a hub by radial or tangential spokes, that is mounted on a shaft about which it can turn, as in vehicles and machines
2. a device consisting of or resembling a wheel or having a wheel as its principal component
3. short for potter's wheel
4. a type of firework coiled to make it rotate when let off
5. a set of short rhyming lines, usually four or five in number, forming the concluding part of a stanza
6. the disc in which the ball is spun in roulette
7. US and Canadian an informal word for bicycle
8. Archaic a refrain
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

wheel

[slang "big wheel" for a powerful person] A person who has an active wheel bit. "We need to find a wheel to unwedge the hung tape drives." (See wedged).
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)
References in classic literature ?
A mile from Edgware the rim of the wheel broke, and the machine became unridable.
One of the men desisted and turned towards him, and my brother, realising from his an- tagonist's face that a fight was unavoidable, and being an expert boxer, went into him forthwith and sent him down against the wheel of the chaise.
The Grandmother could scarcely remain seated in her chair, so intent was she upon the little ball as it leapt through the notches of the ever-revolving wheel. However, the third ten-gulden piece followed the first two.
The ball went hopping round the wheel until it began to settle through the notches.
Rien ne va plus," proclaimed the croupier as once more he invited the company to stake, and prepared to turn the wheel.
The wheel whirled around and around, with the Grandmother simply quaking as she watched its revolutions.
'Our Lord Himself cannot make the Wheel swing backward.
Wolf Larsen put the wheel hard up, to port, and we began to pay off.
And as this idea of fulfilling Wolf Larsen's order persisted in my dazed consciousness, I seemed to see him standing at the wheel in the midst of the wild welter, pitting his will against the will of the storm and defying it.
And having commanded, he went aft with his peculiar tigerish leaps to the wheel. While I toiled up the fore-shrouds the Ghost slowly paid off.
Even the wheel, quite a deal higher than the waist, was covered and swept again and again.
And when he put the wheel hard over and the Ghost's bow swung off, there was nothing for the hunters to do but obey and make the best of a risky chance.