Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Wheaten adjective [ Anglo-Saxon hwæten .] Made of wheat; as, wheaten bread. Cowper.

Wheatsel bird (Zoology) The male of the chaffinch. [ Prov. Eng.]

Wheatstone's bridge (Electricity) See under Bridge .

Wheatstone's rods (Acoustics) Flexible rods the period of vibration of which in two planes at right angles are in some exact ratio to one another. When one end of such a rod is fixed, the free end describes in vibrating the corresponding Lissajous figure. So called because devised by Sir Charles Wheatstone.

Wheatworm noun (Zoology) A small nematode worm ( Anguillula tritici ) which attacks the grains of wheat in the ear. It is found in wheat affected with smut, each of the diseased grains containing a large number of the minute young of the worm.

Wheatworm noun A small nematode worm ( Tylenchus tritici ) which attacks wheat, advancing through the stem to the grains in the air.

Wheder pron. & conj. Whether. [ Obsolete]

Wheedle transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wheedled ; present participle & verbal noun Wheedling .] [ Confer German wedeln to wag with the tail, as a dog, wedel a fan, tail, brush, Old High German wadal ; akin to German wehen to blow, and English wind , noun ]


1. To entice by soft words; to cajole; to flatter; to coax.

The unlucky art of wheedling fools.
Dryden.

And wheedle a world that loves him not.
Tennyson.

2. To grain, or get away, by flattery.

A deed of settlement of the best part of her estate, which I wheedled out of her.
Congreve.

Wheedle intransitive verb To flatter; to coax; to cajole.

Wheel noun [ Middle English wheel , hweol , Anglo-Saxon hweól , hweogul , hweowol ; akin to Dutch wiel , Icelandic hvēl , Greek ky`klos , Sanskrit cakra ; confer Icelandic hjōl , Danish hiul , Swedish hjul . √218. Confer Cycle , Cyclopedia .]


1. 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.

2. Any instrument having the form of, or chiefly consisting of, a wheel. Specifically: --

(a) A spinning wheel. See under Spinning .

(b) 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. Brande.

(c) (Nautical) 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." Nares.

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

3. A bicycle or a tricycle; a velocipede.

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

5. 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 aëry wheel .
Milton.

A wheel within a wheel , or 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 . (Machinery) (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 , or Wheel animalcule (Zoology) , 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 (Zoology) , 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 , or Wheel ropes (Nautical) , 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 , or 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 (Nautical) , 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 (Botany) , 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 (Zoology) , any sea urchin of the genus Rotula having a round, flat shell. -- Wheel window (Architecture) , a circular window having radiating mullions arranged like the spokes of a wheel. Confer Rose window , under Rose .

Wheel transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wheeled ; present participle & verbal noun Wheeling .]


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

2. 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." Gray.

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

Wheel intransitive verb


1. 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.

2. 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.

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

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

4. 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.

Wheel base The figure inclosed by lines through the points contact of the wheels of a vehicle, etc., with the surface or rails on which they run; more esp., the length of this figure between the points of contact of the two extreme wheels on either side.

Wheel of fortune A gambling or lottery device consisting of a wheel which is spun horizontally, articles or sums to which certain marks on its circumference point when it stops being distributed according to varying rules.

Wheel-shaped adjective


1. Shaped like a wheel.

2. (Botany) Expanding into a flat, circular border at top, with scarcely any tube; as, a wheel-shaped corolla.

Wheel-worn adjective Worn by the action of wheels; as, a wheel-worn road.

Wheelband noun The tire of a wheel.

Wheelbarrow noun A light vehicle for conveying small loads. It has two handles and one wheel, and is rolled by a single person.

Wheelbird noun (Zoology) The European goatsucker. [ Prov. Eng.]

Wheeled adjective Having wheels; -- used chiefly in composition; as, a four- wheeled carriage.

Wheeler noun


1. One who wheels, or turns.

2. A maker of wheels; a wheelwright. [ Obsolete]

3. A wheel horse. See under Wheel .

4. (Nautical) A steam vessel propelled by a paddle wheel or by paddle wheels; -- used chiefly in the terms side- wheeler and stern-wheeler .

5. A worker on sewed muslin. [ Eng.]

6. (Zoology) The European goatsucker. [ Prov. Eng.]

Wheelhouse noun (Nautical) (a) A small house on or above a vessel's deck, containing the steering wheel. (b) A paddle box. See under Paddle .

Wheeling noun


1. The act of conveying anything, or traveling, on wheels, or in a wheeled vehicle.

2. The act or practice of using a cycle; cycling.

3. Condition of a road or roads, which admits of passing on wheels; as, it is good wheeling , or bad wheeling .

4. A turning, or circular movement.

Wheelman noun ; plural Wheelmen One who rides a bicycle or tricycle; a cycler, or cyclist.

Wheelswarf noun See Swarf .

Wheelwork noun (Machinery) A combination of wheels, and their connection, in a machine or mechanism.

Wheelwright noun A man whose occupation is to make or repair wheels and wheeled vehicles, as carts, wagons, and the like.

Wheely adjective Circular; suitable to rotation.

Wheen noun [ Confer Anglo-Saxon hw...ne , hw...ne , a little, somewhat, hw...n little, few.] A quantity; a goodly number. [ Scot.] "A wheen other dogs." Sir W. Scott.

Wheeze intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Wheezed ; present participle & verbal noun Wheezing .] [ Middle English whesen , Anglo-Saxon hw ... san (cf. Icelandic hvæsa to hiss, Swedish hväsa , Danish hvæse ); akin to Anglo-Saxon hw ... sta a cough, Dutch hoest , German husten , Old High German huosto , Icelandic h...sti , Lithuanian kosti to cough, Sanskrit k...s . √43. Confer Husky hoarse.] To breathe hard, and with an audible piping or whistling sound, as persons affected with asthma. " Wheezing lungs." Shak.

Wheeze noun
1. A piping or whistling sound caused by difficult respiration.

2. (Phon.) An ordinary whisper exaggerated so as to produce the hoarse sound known as the "stage whisper." It is a forcible whisper with some admixture of tone.

Wheezy adjective Breathing with difficulty and with a wheeze; wheezing. Used also figuratively.

Wheft noun (Nautical) See Waft , noun , 4.

Wheft noun (Nautical) A kind of streamer or flag used either as a signal, or at the masthead for ornament or to indicate the direction of the wind to aid in steering.

Whelk noun [ Middle English welk , wilk , Anglo-Saxon weoloc , weloc , wiloc . Confer Whilk , and Wilk .] (Zoology) Any one numerous species of large marine gastropods belonging to Buccinum and allied genera; especially, Buccinum undatum , common on the coasts both of Europe and North America, and much used as food in Europe.

Whelk tingle , a dog whelk. See under Dog .

Whelk noun [ Middle English whelke , dim. of whele . See Wheal a pustule.]


1. A papule; a pustule; acne. "His whelks white." Chaucer.

2. A stripe or mark; a ridge; a wale.

Chin whelk (Medicine) , sycosis. -- Rosy whelk (Medicine) , grog blossom.

Whelked adjective Having whelks; whelky; as, whelked horns. Shak.

Whelky adjective


1. Having whelks, ridges, or protuberances; hence, streaked; striated.

2. Shelly. " Whelky pearls." Spenser.

Whelm transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Whelmed ; present participle & verbal noun Whelming .] [ Middle English whelmen to turn over, akin to Middle English whelven , Anglo-Saxon whelfan , hwylfan , in ...whylfan , ...whelfan , to overwhelm, cover over; akin to Old Saxon bihwelbian , Dutch welven to arch, German wölben , Old High German welben , Icelandic hvelfa to overturn; confer Greek ... bosom, a hollow, a gulf.]


1. To cover with water or other fluid; to cover by immersion in something that envelops on all sides; to overwhelm; to ingulf.

She is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!
Shak.

The whelming billow and the faithless oar.
Gay.

2. Fig.: To cover completely, as if with water; to immerse; to overcome; as, to whelm one in sorrows. "The whelming weight of crime." J. H. Newman.

3. To throw (something) over a thing so as to cover it. [ Obsolete] Mortimer.

Whelp noun [ Anglo-Saxon hwelp ; akin to Dutch welp , G. & Old High German welf , Icelandic hvelpr , Danish hvalp , Swedish valp .]


1. One of the young of a dog or a beast of prey; a puppy; a cub; as, a lion's whelps . "A bear robbed of her whelps ." 2 Sam. xvii. 8.

2. A child; a youth; -- jocosely or in contempt.

That awkward whelp with his money bags would have made his entrance.
Addison.

3. (Nautical) One of the longitudinal ribs or ridges on the barrel of a capstan or a windless; -- usually in the plural; as, the whelps of a windlass.

4. One of the teeth of a sprocket wheel.

Whelp intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Whelped ; present participle & verbal noun Whelping .] To bring forth young; -- said of the female of the dog and some beasts of prey.

Whelp transitive verb To bring forth, as cubs or young; to give birth to.

Unless she had whelped it herself, she could not have loved a thing better.
B. Jonson.

Did thy foul fancy whelp so black a scheme?
Young.

When adverb [ Middle English when , whan , whenne , whanne , Anglo-Saxon hwænne , hwanne , hwonne ; akin to Old Saxon hwan , OD. wan , Old High German wanne , German wann when, wenn if, when, Goth. hwan when, and to English who . ............. See Who .]


1. At what time; -- used interrogatively.

When shall these things be?
Matt. xxiv. 3.

» See the Note under What , pron ., 1.

2. At what time; at, during, or after the time that; at or just after, the moment that; -- used relatively.

Kings may
Take their advantage when and how they list.
Daniel.

Book lore ne'er served, when trial came,
Nor gifts, when faith was dead.
J. H. Newman.

3. While; whereas; although; -- used in the manner of a conjunction to introduce a dependent adverbial sentence or clause, having a causal, conditional, or adversative relation to the principal proposition; as, he chose to turn highwayman when he might have continued an honest man; he removed the tree when it was the best in the grounds.

4. Which time; then; -- used elliptically as a noun.

I was adopted heir by his consent;
Since when , his oath is broke.
Shak.

» When was formerly used as an exclamation of surprise or impatience, like what !

Come hither; mend my ruff:
Here, when ! thou art such a tedious lady!
J. Webster.

When as , When that , at the time that; when. [ Obsolete]

When as sacred light began to dawn.
Milton.

When that mine eye is famished for a look.
Shak.

Whenas conj. Whereas; while [ Obsolete]

Whenas , if they would inquire into themselves, they would find no such matter.
Barrow.

Whence adverb [ Middle English whennes , whens (with adverbial s , properly a genitive ending; -- see -wards ), also whenne , whanene , Anglo-Saxon hwanan , hwanon , hwonan , hwanone ; akin to Dutch when . See When , and confer Hence , Thence .]


1. From what place; hence, from what or which source, origin, antecedent, premise, or the like; how; -- used interrogatively.

Whence hath this man this wisdom?
Matt. xiii. 54.

Whence and what art thou?
Milton.

2. From what or which place, source, material, cause, etc.; the place, source, etc., from which; -- used relatively.

Grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends.
Milton.

» All the words of this class, whence , where , whither , whereabouts , etc., are occasionally used as pronouns by a harsh construction.

O, how unlike the place from whence they fell?
Milton.

» From whence , though a pleonasm, is fully authorized by the use of good writers.

From whence come wars and fightings among you?
James iv. 1.

Of whence , also a pleonasm, has become obsolete.

Whenceever adverb & conj. Whencesoever. [ R.]

Whenceforth adverb From, or forth from, what or which place; whence. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

Whencesoever adverb & conj. From what place soever; from what cause or source soever.

Any idea, whencesoever we have it.
Locke.

Whene'er adverb & conj. Whenever.

Whenever adverb & conj. At whatever time. " Whenever that shall be." Milton.