• synonyms


[rou-uh l]
See more synonyms for rowel on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small wheel with radiating points, forming the extremity of a spur.
  2. 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.
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verb (used with object), row·eled, row·el·ing or (especially British) row·elled, row·el·ling.
  1. to prick or urge with a rowel.
  2. Veterinary Medicine. to insert a rowel in.
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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
Related formsun·row·eled; especially British un·row·elled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rowel

prod, tease, coerce, harass, hound, provoke, force, propel, move, sting, thrust, arouse, prompt, animate, whip, exhort, irritate, sound, encourage, trigger

Examples from the Web for rowel

Historical Examples of rowel

  • A few horse-hairs twisted and caught in the sharp points of the rowel.

    Susy, A Story of the Plains

    Bret Harte

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for rowel


  1. a small spiked wheel attached to a spur
  2. 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
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verb -els, -elling or -elled or US -els, -eling or -eled (tr)
  1. to goad (a horse) using a rowel
  2. vet science obsolete to insert a rowel in (the skin of a horse) to allow drainage
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Word Origin for rowel

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper