The oldest known representation of a wheel is on a tablet of clay from Ur in Mesopotamia. Circa 3500 BC, it is a spokeless wheel.

The spoked wheel appears about 2000 BC in Egypt, and then in Syria.

The use of the wheel fades in and out. Many civilizations discover the wheel, and then find out that beasts of burden can do the job better. This was true in the Sassanid dynasty in Persia and in Egypt, where wheels (even spoked ones) had almost disappeared by 30 BC.

The contraption used for pot throwing, so named because of its use of wheels. It consists of a flat disc from a quarter- to a half-meter in diameter on top, connected to a flywheel by a vertical shaft. Both wheels are horizontal. A person sits level with the disc and kicks the flywheel to set the whole apparatus spinning. This spinning provides the centrifugal force required to stablize the clay (which is placed on the disc) while it is being shaped.

A graph of order n is a wheel if it contains a cycle of order n-1 and every node in the cycle is connected to a single other node or hub. The hub has degree n-1 and all other nodes have degree 3.

Thus W(4) = K(4), and some people define W(3) = K(3).

--back to combinatorics--
What's a spline? = W = wheel bit

wheel n.

[from 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, sense 1.) The traditional name of security group zero in BSD (to which the major system-internal users like root belong) is `wheel'. Some vendors have expanded on this usage, modifying Unix so that only members of group `wheel' can go root.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

A poker term which refers to the hand consisting of the cards of rank: Ace - Two - Three - Four - Five. Properly called a 5-high straight. In most versions of lowball poker, High-Low Omaha and Seven Card Stud High-Low the wheel is the best low hand. The hand is also called a bike or a bicycle.

Wheels are what you need to get moving on you bike. There are two main types of wheels - traditional spoked wheels and fancy schmancy carbon fibre one piece exotic thingos. I prefer traditional wheels, which are really a combination of 6 components - starting from the center - the hubs, the spokes, the nipples, the rims, the rims strips(to protect the tube from the nipples), the tubes, and the tires (tyres for UK).

Spoked wheels are very light and strong when properly built, and are IMHO one the most important inventions of the past 500 years, right up there with the bicycle and sliced bread. They are produced by a variety of companies including Sun, Mavic, Spinergy, Rolf, and Shimano.

The basic theory behind traditional wheels is that you take a round thing called a rim, wrap a tire around it, and then make it spin with a thing caled a hub. The whole thing is held together by spokes, which are secured at the hub end by knobs on the end of the spokes and at the rim end by the nipples, which attach to the spokes with threads and to the rims with knobs. To keep the wheel straight, there are two sets of spokes, (usually) 16 pulling to the left and 16 pulling to the right. This creates a 32 spoke wheel. These spokes often overlap their neighbours to increase stiffness. The tension of the spokes is adjusted by using a spoke wrench, AKA a nipple twister.

To learn more about how to build wheels, you'll soon be able to visit my node on wheel building, coming soon to a theatre near you. For more information on fixing wheels and bikes in general, stay tuned, I'm working on it through my Bike Mechanic node.

Wheel (?), n. [OE. wheel, hweol, AS. hweol, hweogul, hweowol; akin to D. wiel, Icel. hv�xc7;l, Gr. , Skr. cakra; cf. Icel. hjol, Dan. hiul, Sw. hjul. 218 Cf. Cycle, Cyclopedia.]


A circular frame turning about an axis; a rotating disk, whether solid, or a frame composed of an outer rim, spokes or radii, and a central hub or nave, in which is inserted the axle, -- used for supporting and conveying vehicles, in machinery, and for various purposes; as, the wheel of a wagon, of a locomotive, of a mill, of a watch, etc.

The gasping charioteer beneath the wheel Of his own car. Dryden.


Any instrument having the form of, or chiefly consisting of, a wheel.

Specifically: --


A spinning wheel. See under Spinning.


An instrument of torture formerly used.

His examination is like that which is made by the rack and wheel. Addison.

⇒ This mode of torture is said to have been first employed in Germany, in the fourteenth century. The criminal was laid on a cart wheel with his legs and arms extended, and his limbs in that posture were fractured with an iron bar. In France, where its use was restricted to the most atrocious crimes, the criminal was first laid on a frame of wood in the form of a St. Andrew's cross, with grooves cut transversely in it above and below the knees and elbows, and the executioner struck eight blows with an iron bar, so as to break the limbs in those places, sometimes finishing by two or three blows on the chest or stomach, which usually put an end to the life of the criminal, and were hence called coups-de-grace -- blows of mercy. The criminal was then unbound, and laid on a small wheel, with his face upward, and his arms and legs doubled under him, there to expire, if he had survived the previous treatment.


(c) Naut.

A circular frame having handles on the periphery, and an axle which is so connected with the tiller as to form a means of controlling the rudder for the purpose of steering.

(d) Pottery

A potter's wheel. See under Potter.

Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. Jer. xviii. 3.

Turn, turn, my wheel! This earthen jar A touch can make, a touch can mar. Longfellow.

(e) Pyrotechny

A firework which, while burning, is caused to revolve on an axis by the reaction of the escaping gases.

(f) Poetry

The burden or refrain of a song.

⇒ "This meaning has a low degree of authority, but is supposed from the context in the few cases where the word is found."


You must sing a-down a-down, An you call him a-down-a. O, how the wheel becomes it! Shak.


A bicycle or a tricycle; a velocipede.


A rolling or revolving body; anything of a circular form; a disk; an orb.



A turn revolution; rotation; compass.

According to the common vicissitude and wheel of things, the proud and the insolent, after long trampling upon others, come at length to be trampled upon themselves. South.

[He] throws his steep flight in many an aery wheel. Milton.

A wheel within a wheel, ∨ Wheels within wheels, a complication of circumstances, motives, etc. -- Balance wheel. See in the Vocab. -- Bevel wheel, Brake wheel, Cam wheel, Fifth wheel, Overshot wheel, Spinning wheel, etc. See under Bevel, Brake, etc. -- Core wheel. Mach. (a) A mortise gear. (b) A wheel having a rim perforated to receive wooden cogs; the skeleton of a mortise gear. -- Measuring wheel, an odometer, or perambulator. -- Wheel and axle Mech., one of the elementary machines or mechanical powers, consisting of a wheel fixed to an axle, and used for raising great weights, by applying the power to the circumference of the wheel, and attaching the weight, by a rope or chain, to that of the axle. Called also axis in peritrochio, and perpetual lever, -- the principle of equilibrium involved being the same as in the lever, while its action is continuous. See Mechanical powers, under Mechanical. -- Wheel animal, ∨ Wheel animalcule Zool., any one of numerous species of rotifers having a ciliated disk at the anterior end. -- Wheel barometer. Physics See under Barometer. -- Wheel boat, a boat with wheels, to be used either on water or upon inclined planes or railways. -- Wheel bug Zool., a large North American hemipterous insect (Prionidus cristatus) which sucks the blood of other insects. So named from the curious shape of the prothorax. -- Wheel carriage, a carriage moving on wheels. -- Wheel chains, ∨ Wheel ropes Naut., the chains or ropes connecting the wheel and rudder. -- Wheel cutter, a machine for shaping the cogs of gear wheels; a gear cutter. -- Wheel horse, one of the horses nearest to the wheels, as opposed to a leader, or forward horse; -- called also wheeler. -- Wheel lathe, a lathe for turning railway-car wheels. -- Wheel lock. (a) A letter lock. See under Letter. (b) A kind of gunlock in which sparks were struck from a flint, or piece of iron pyrites, by a revolving wheel. (c) A kind of brake a carriage. -- Wheel ore Min., a variety of bournonite so named from the shape of its twin crystals. See Bournonite. -- Wheel pit Steam Engine, a pit in the ground, in which the lower part of the fly wheel runs. -- Wheel plow, ∨ Wheel plough, a plow having one or two wheels attached, to render it more steady, and to regulate the depth of the furrow. -- Wheel press, a press by which railway-car wheels are forced on, or off, their axles. -- Wheel race, the place in which a water wheel is set. -- Wheel rope Naut., a tiller rope. See under Tiller. -- Wheel stitch Needlework, a stitch resembling a spider's web, worked into the material, and not over an open space. Caulfeild & S. (Dict. of Needlework). -- Wheel tree Bot., a tree (Aspidosperma excelsum) of Guiana, which has a trunk so curiously fluted that a transverse section resembles the hub and spokes of a coarsely made wheel. See Paddlewood. -- Wheel urchin Zool., any sea urchin of the genus Rotula having a round, flat shell. -- Wheel window Arch., a circular window having radiating mullions arranged like the spokes of a wheel. Cf. Rose window, under Rose.


© Webster 1913.

Wheel (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Wheeled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Wheeling.]


To convey on wheels, or in a wheeled vehicle; as, to wheel a load of hay or wood.


To put into a rotatory motion; to cause to turn or revolve; to cause to gyrate; to make or perform in a circle.

"The beetle wheels her droning flight."


Now heaven, in all her glory, shone, and rolled Her motions, as the great first mover's hand First wheeled their course. Milton.


© Webster 1913.

Wheel, v. i.


To turn on an axis, or as on an axis; to revolve; to more about; to rotate; to gyrate.

The moon carried about the earth always shows the same face to us, not once wheeling upon her own center. Bentley.


To change direction, as if revolving upon an axis or pivot; to turn; as, the troops wheeled to the right.

Being able to advance no further, they are in a fair way to wheel about to the other extreme. South.


To go round in a circuit; to fetch a compass.

Then wheeling down the steep of heaven he flies. Pope.


To roll forward.

Thunder mixed with hail, Hail mixed with fire, must rend the Egyptian sky, And wheel on the earth, devouring where it rolls. Milton.


© Webster 1913.

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