[ kahrt-hweel, -weel ]

  1. the wheel of a cart.

  2. an acrobatic feat in which a person starts from a standing position, with arms extended, and wheels the body sideways, landing first on the hands and then on the feet and usually repeating this in a series.

  1. Slang. any large coin, especially a U.S. silver dollar.

  2. Slang. an amphetamine tablet.

verb (used without object)
  1. to roll forward end over end: The skier took a sudden spill and cartwheeled down the slope.

Origin of cartwheel

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at cart, wheel

Other words from cartwheel

  • cartwheeler, noun

Words Nearby cartwheel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cartwheel in a sentence

  • Witnesses have portrayed her as a strange cartwheel performer with bad hygiene.

    Amanda Knox Tells Her Story | Barbie Latza Nadeau | June 12, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Behind the table was a smooth and perfectly round hole in the wall about the size of a cartwheel.

    Wonder-Box Tales | Jean Ingelow
  • Here has been cartwheel, your sweetheart; what will become of him?

    The Recruiting Officer | George Farquhar
  • Billy took everybodys attention away from him by turning an unexpected cartwheel in the middle of the floor.

    Maida's Little Shop | Inez Haynes Irwin
  • They had been dredged up in the Isar's mud, found at a corner, dragged from under a cartwheel.

    The Son of Clemenceau | Alexandre (fils) Dumas
  • "There's your dollar," said the Idiot, tossing a silver cartwheel across the table.

    Half-Hours with the Idiot | John Kendrick Bangs

British Dictionary definitions for cartwheel


/ (ˈkɑːtˌwiːl) /

  1. the wheel of a cart, usually having wooden spokes and metal tyres

  2. an acrobatic movement in which the body makes a sideways revolution supported on the hands with arms and legs outstretched

  1. US slang a large coin, esp the silver dollar

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