a wheel for propelling a ship, having a number of paddles entering the water more or less perpendicularly.
Origin of paddle wheel
First recorded in 1675–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
a large wheel fitted with paddles, turned by an engine to propel a vessel on the water
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