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See more synonyms for spoke on Thesaurus.com
  1. a simple past tense of speak.
  2. Nonstandard. a past participle of speak.
  3. Archaic. a past participle of speak.
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  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.
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verb (used with object), spoked, spok·ing.
  1. to fit or furnish with or as with spokes.
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Origin of spoke2

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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for spokes

Historical Examples

  • He swallowed once or twice, and his hands tightened on the spokes of the wheel.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • I seized her hands and placed them on the spokes of the wheel.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Should he have grasped the spokes near the hub, near the rim, or in the middle?

    Common Science

    Carleton W. Washburne

  • There were four "children of Horus" and four spokes to the wheel of the sun.

  • Its details blurred like the spokes of a swiftly turning wheel.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

British Dictionary definitions for spokes


  1. the past tense of speak
  2. archaic, or dialect a past participle of speak
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  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
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  1. (tr) to equip with or as if with spokes
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Word Origin

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 spokes



(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)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper