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[rou-uh l] /ˈraʊ əl/
a small wheel with radiating points, forming the extremity of a spur.
Veterinary Medicine. a piece of leather or the like inserted beneath the skin of a horse or other animal to promote drainage of an infection.
verb (used with object), roweled, roweling or (especially British) rowelled, rowelling.
to prick or urge with a rowel.
Veterinary Medicine. to insert a rowel in.
Origin of rowel
1350-1400; Middle English rowelle < Middle French ruelle, Old French roel < Late Latin rotella, equivalent to Latin rot(a) wheel + -ella -elle
Related forms
unroweled; especially British, unrowelled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for roweled
Historical Examples
  • It was all one that Archibald tore and tugged at the bit, or roweled him red.

  • Meanwhile, the proud Verbeena just roweled that lofty, haughty boy to rags.

    The Shriek Charles Somerville
  • As Mose roweled him he kicked with both hind feet as if to tear the cinch from his belly.

    The Eagle's Heart Hamlin Garland
  • He roweled Pronto and, with Sam even in the jump, they galloped through the half-ring without opposition.

    Rimrock Trail J. Allan Dunn
British Dictionary definitions for roweled


a small spiked wheel attached to a spur
(vet science, obsolete) a piece of leather or other material inserted under the skin of a horse to act as a seton and allow drainage
verb (transitive) -els, -elling, -elled (US) -els, -eling, -eled
to goad (a horse) using a rowel
(vet science, obsolete) to insert a rowel in (the skin of a horse) to allow drainage
Word Origin
C14: from Old French roel a little wheel, from roe a wheel, from Latin rota
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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Word Origin and History for roweled



"pointed wheel on a spur," mid-14c., from Old French roelle, roel (Modern French rouelle), "small wheel" (see roulette).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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