or wa·ter wheel

[waw-ter-hweel, -weel, wot-er-]
  1. a wheel or turbine turned by the weight or momentum of water and used to operate machinery.
  2. a wheel with buckets for raising or drawing water, as a noria.
  3. the paddle wheel of a steamboat.

Origin of waterwheel

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at water, wheel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for water wheel

water wheel

  1. a simple water-driven turbine consisting of a wheel having vanes set axially across its rim, used to drive machinery
  2. a wheel with buckets attached to its rim for raising water from a stream, pond, etc
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