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[flahy-hweel, -weel]
See more synonyms for flywheel on Thesaurus.com
noun Machinery.
  1. a heavy disk or wheel rotating on a shaft so that its momentum gives almost uniform rotational speed to the shaft and to all connected machinery.
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Origin of flywheel

First recorded in 1775–85; fly1 + wheel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for flywheel

balance, flywheel

Examples from the Web for flywheel

Historical Examples of flywheel

  • The momentum of the flywheel A pushes the piston upward, closing these holes.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

  • The flywheel is held to the crank-shaft by means of a set-screw S.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

  • Nothing now remains to be made except the crank and the flywheel.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

  • A flywheel keeps an engine going between the strokes of the piston.

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • Mr. Hastings helped him, but after a few turns of the flywheel there were no explosions.

British Dictionary definitions for flywheel


  1. a heavy wheel that stores kinetic energy and smooths the operation of a reciprocating engine by maintaining a constant speed of rotation over the whole cycle
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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 flywheel


1784, from fly (n.) "speed-regulating device" (from fly (v.1)) + wheel (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper