[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.
  3. Slang. any large coin, especially a U.S. silver dollar.
  4. 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
Related formscart·wheel·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cartwheel

Historical Examples of cartwheel

British Dictionary definitions for cartwheel


  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
  3. 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

Word Origin and History for cartwheel

late 14c., "wheel of a cart," from cart (n.) + wheel (n.). Meaning "lateral somersault" is recorded from 1861; as a verb from 1907. Related: Cartwheeled; cartwheeling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper