1. one of the bars, rods, or rungs radiating from the hub or nave of a wheel and supporting the rim or felloe.
  2. something that resembles the spoke of a wheel.
  3. a handlelike projection from the rim of a wheel, as a ship's steering wheel.
  4. a rung of a ladder.
verb (used with object), spoked, spok·ing.
  1. to fit or furnish with or as with spokes.

Origin of spoke

before 900; Middle English; Old English spāca; cognate with Dutch speek, German Speiche
Related formsspoke·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for spokeless


  1. the past tense of speak
  2. archaic, or dialect a past participle of speak


  1. a radial member of a wheel, joining the hub to the rim
  2. a radial projection from the rim of a wheel, as in a ship's wheel
  3. a rung of a ladder
  4. put a spoke in someone's wheel British to thwart someone's plans
  1. (tr) to equip with or as if with spokes

Word Origin for spoke

Old English spāca
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 spokeless



(of a wheel), Old English spaca "spoke," related to spicing "large nail," from Proto-Germanic *spaikon (cf. Old Saxon speca, Old Frisian spake, Dutch spaak, Old High German speicha, German speiche "spoke"), probably from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper