or pin wheel

[ pin-hweel, -weel ]

  1. a child's toy consisting of a wheel or leaflike curls of paper or plastic loosely attached by a pin to a stick, designed to revolve when blown by or as by the wind.

  2. Also called catherine wheel. a kind of firework supported on a pin which, when ignited, revolves rapidly and gives a dazzling display of light.

  1. a wheel having pins at right angles to its rim for engaging the teeth of a gear.

verb (used without object)
  1. to revolve rapidly like a pinwheel: Images of the past pinwheeled through his mind.

Origin of pinwheel

First recorded in 1695–1705; pin + wheel

Words Nearby pinwheel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use pinwheel in a sentence

  • Just as they entered a pinwheel, lying flat, began to fizz, sending a shower of sparks across the other pieces.

    The Rover Boys on Treasure Isle | Edward Stratemeyer (AKA Arthur M. Winfield)
  • If this is a gesture, all I can say is, it is a pinwheel; and yet Broun writes only about things he knows about.

    When Winter Comes to Main Street | Grant Martin Overton

British Dictionary definitions for pinwheel


/ (ˈpɪnˌwiːl) /

  1. another name for Catherine wheel (def. 1)

  2. a cogwheel whose teeth are formed by small pins projecting either axially or radially from the rim of the wheel

  1. US and Canadian a toy consisting of plastic or paper vanes attached to a stick in such a manner that they revolve like the sails of a windmill: Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): windmill, whirligig

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