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.

  1. 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. 2024

How to use waterwheel in a sentence

  • She envisioned a New England farmhouse from 1904 complete with a 14-foot high water wheel cut from hand-felled white oak.

    Last-Minute Gift Books | Janice Kaplan | December 20, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The water-wheel was turning and the jar of the stones set every beam and plank in the structure to trembling.

    Ruth Fielding At College | Alice B. Emerson
  • Once the wind came with a sudden sweep up the river and she thought she could hear the creak of Uncle Billy's water-wheel.

  • There was a serpentine factory here once, but it is deserted; the water-wheel turns no longer.

    The Cornwall Coast | Arthur L. Salmon
  • The deeper parts of the channel of the river are laid dry by means of large caissons or chain-pumps, worked by a water-wheel.

  • Then I do put the hairpins in, to make them look like a water-wheel that the chore boy does build in the brook.

    The Story of Opal | Opal Whiteley

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