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[kahrt-hweel, -weel] /ˈkɑrtˌʰwil, -ˌwil/
the wheel of a cart.
an acrobatic feat in which a person starts from a standing position, with arms extended, and wheels the body sideways, landing first on the hands and then on the feet and usually repeating this in a series.
Slang. any large coin, especially a U.S. silver dollar.
Slang. an amphetamine tablet.
verb (used without object)
to roll forward end over end:
The skier took a sudden spill and cartwheeled down the slope.
Origin of cartwheel
1350-1400; Middle English; see cart, wheel
Related forms
cartwheeler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cartwheel
Historical Examples
  • He was no more like the Chabert of the old box-coat than a cartwheel double sou is like a newly coined forty-franc piece.

    Colonel Chabert Honore de Balzac
  • Say, you haven't got a cartwheel instead of this wrapping paper, have you?

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • The brim of her cartwheel hat grated along his Derby, and they drew as close as fashion permitted.

    The Gay Gnani of Gingalee Florence Huntley
  • Here has been cartwheel, your sweetheart; what will become of him?

    The Recruiting Officer George Farquhar
  • Six feet o' greaser gov'ner a-turnin' a cartwheel in his own house!

    Bring Me His Ears Clarence E. Mulford
  • He gave a shriek and dodged back, and a cartwheel shaved him narrowly.

    The War of the Worlds H. G. Wells
  • Of course, there were plenty of cartwheel tracks; but they told nothing of interest to the troubled hardware dealer.

    Carolyn of the Corners Ruth Belmore Endicott
  • Serious accident; a cartwheel passes over The Widow's child.

  • Wine and beer we have in plenty in the cellar, and the cheese I shall cut is as a cartwheel for bigness.

    Not Quite Eighteen Susan Coolidge
  • But it was the dad and her at home I thought of, and could put my neck below the cartwheel for distressing.

British Dictionary definitions for cartwheel


the wheel of a cart, usually having wooden spokes and metal tyres
an acrobatic movement in which the body makes a sideways revolution supported on the hands with arms and legs outstretched
(US, slang) a large coin, esp the silver dollar
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
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Word Origin and History for cartwheel

late 14c., "wheel of a cart," from cart (n.) + wheel (n.). Meaning "lateral somersault" is recorded from 1861; as a verb from 1907. Related: Cartwheeled; cartwheeling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cartwheel



A dollar, esp a silver dollar (1850+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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