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pinwheeling

[pin-hwee-ling, -wee-]
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noun U.S. Nautical.
  1. the act of turning a multiple-screw ship within a minimum radius by having some engines going forward and others going in reverse.
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Origin of pinwheeling

pinwheel

or pin wheel

[pin-hweel, -weel]
noun
  1. a child's toy consisting of a wheel or leaflike curls of paper or plastic loosely attached by a pin to a stick, designed to revolve when blown by or as by the wind.
  2. Also called catherine wheel. a kind of firework supported on a pin which, when ignited, revolves rapidly and gives a dazzling display of light.
  3. a wheel having pins at right angles to its rim for engaging the teeth of a gear.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to revolve rapidly like a pinwheel: Images of the past pinwheeled through his mind.
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Origin of pinwheel

First recorded in 1695–1705; pin + wheel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pinwheeling

Historical Examples

  • But the trouble was unknown, and they might end up rifling or pinwheeling if they didn't let bad enough alone.

    Tight Squeeze

    Dean Charles Ing

  • The concussion hit Johnny like a fist, pinwheeling him backwards in the rocker against the wall of the house.


British Dictionary definitions for pinwheeling

pinwheel

noun
  1. another name for Catherine wheel (def. 1)
  2. a cogwheel whose teeth are formed by small pins projecting either axially or radially from the rim of the wheel
  3. US and Canadian a toy consisting of plastic or paper vanes attached to a stick in such a manner that they revolve like the sails of a windmillAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): windmill, whirligig
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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

Word Origin and History for pinwheeling

pinwheel

n.

also pin-wheel, 1690s, "a wheel in the striking train of a clock in which pins are fixed to lift the hammer," from pin (n.) + wheel (n.). Fireworks sense is from 1869.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper