paddle wheel



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
Related formspad·dle-wheel, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paddle-wheel

Historical Examples of paddle-wheel

  • The paddle-wheel was between the two hulls, and near the stern of the craft.

    Down South

    Oliver Optic

  • Imagine a paddle-wheel placed in water and caused to rotate.

  • The frame of wood which encircles the upper part of the paddle-wheel.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • It is to be propelled by the combined powers of the paddle-wheel and the screw.

    Great Facts

    Frederick C. Bakewell

  • These engines and the driving-rod to the paddle-wheel were uncovered.

    The Congo and Coasts of Africa

    Richard Harding Davis

British Dictionary definitions for paddle-wheel

paddle wheel


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

Word Origin and History for paddle-wheel

also paddlewheel, 1805, from paddle (n.) + wheel (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper