- a small wheel with radiating points, forming the extremity of a spur.
- Veterinary Medicine. a piece of leather or the like inserted beneath the skin of a horse or other animal to promote drainage of an infection.
- to prick or urge with a rowel.
- Veterinary Medicine. to insert a rowel in.
Origin of rowel
1350–1400; Middle English rowelle < Middle French ruelle, Old French roel < Late Latin rotella, equivalent to Latin rot(a) wheel + -ella -elle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for rowel
A few horse-hairs twisted and caught in the sharp points of the rowel.Susy, A Story of the Plains
The rowel of his spur rattled as he jerked his foot up and down at the ankle.A Tar-Heel Baron
Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton
Rowel threw the whole weight of his body upon him to stop that tongue.
I am afraid, Mr. Rowel, the case is a very serious one indeed.
"From the very nature of things, my dear," Mr. Rowel replied.Colin Clink, Volume I (of III)
- a small spiked wheel attached to a spur
- vet science obsolete a piece of leather or other material inserted under the skin of a horse to act as a seton and allow drainage
- to goad (a horse) using a rowel
- vet science obsolete to insert a rowel in (the skin of a horse) to allow drainage
C14: from Old French roel a little wheel, from roe a wheel, from Latin rota
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 rowel
"pointed wheel on a spur," mid-14c., from Old French roelle, roel (Modern French rouelle), "small wheel" (see roulette).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper