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big wheel

noun, Informal.
1.
an influential or important person:
a big wheel in business.
Origin of big wheel
1905-1910
First recorded in 1905-10
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for big wheel
Historical Examples
  • If there is just the least little fall of snow you can make a big wheel, with spokes in it, by your tracking.

    Back Home Eugene Wood
  • With the ease of long practice, Split got to the big wheel and leaped to the ground.

    The Madigans Miriam Michelson
  • See how many skeins are on the big wheel, or drum as it is called.

    Clothing and Health Helen Kinne
  • It consisted of a big wheel, with spokes made in zig-zag fashion.

    Dick Hamilton's Fortune Howard R. Garis
  • It was a curious sensation, seeing the big wheel from this angle.

    Where I Wasn't Going Walt Richmond
  • In endeavouring to pass around it our big wheel ran into the groove of the track, and we had to dismount and lift it out.

    A Canterbury Pilgrimage

    Joseph Pennell and Elizabeth Robins Pennell
  • Some of the little wheels within the big wheel revolve rapidly.

    Principles of Political Economy

    Arthur Latham Perry
  • "East by nothe, sir," repeated the quartermaster in mechanical tones, spinning the big wheel to the left.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • But just then Lulu felt something pulling her down toward where the big wheel went around and around, and she got frightened.

  • The old leveller, Nature, is at her eternal work of rotation, turning the big wheel round.

    The Open Question Elizabeth Robins
British Dictionary definitions for big wheel

big wheel

noun
1.
another name for a Ferris wheel
2.
(informal) an important person
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for big wheel
noun
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
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Slang definitions & phrases for big wheel

big wheel

modifier

: a big-wheel attitude/ Look at the big-wheel label on those jeans

noun phrase

An important person; big shot: Up to that juncture I was boss man of the family and big wheel

[1940s+; probably connected with Chicago underworld use wheels, ''gang chief, big shot,'' attested in 1932]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with big wheel

big wheel

see under big cheese
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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6
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