• synonyms


[hweel, weel]
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  1. a small, burning or itching swelling on the skin, as from a mosquito bite or from hives.
  2. a wale or welt.
Also weal.

Origin of wheal

before 900; akin to whelk2 and to obsolete wheal (v.), Old English hwelian to suppurate, develop wheals
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wheal

Historical Examples

  • Can you really see all these places at once from Wheal Dooem?

    Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • They were 60, 63, and 70 inch cylinders at Dolcoath and Wheal Chance.

  • The Wheal Grenville and Newton mines were stopped for want of coal for some days.

  • I picked 'en up in the wheal, and reckoned they'd been thrown away.

    Furze the Cruel

    John Trevena

  • "Picked 'en up in a wheal, your reverent," answered Brightly.

    Furze the Cruel

    John Trevena

British Dictionary definitions for wheal


  1. a variant spelling of weal 1
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 wheal


"mark made on the skin by a whip," 1808, perhaps an alteration of wale, possibly by confusion with weal "welt," and obsolete wheal "pimple, pustule" (mid-15c.), from Old English verb hwelian "to form pus, bring to a head."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

wheal in Medicine


  1. A small swelling on the skin, as from an insect bite, that usually itches or burns.welt
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.