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Catherine wheel

noun
1.
a firework that revolves on a pin, making a wheel of fire or sparks; pinwheel.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English; named after St. Catherine of Alexandria, from wheel used to torture her

pinwheel

[pin-hweel, -weel] /ˈpɪnˌʰwil, -ˌwil/
noun
1.
a child's toy consisting of a wheel or leaflike curls of paper or plastic loosely attached by a pin to a stick, designed to revolve when blown by or as by the wind.
2.
Also called catherine wheel. a kind of firework supported on a pin which, when ignited, revolves rapidly and gives a dazzling display of light.
3.
a wheel having pins at right angles to its rim for engaging the teeth of a gear.
verb (used without object)
4.
to revolve rapidly like a pinwheel:
Images of the past pinwheeled through his mind.
Also, pin wheel.
Origin
1695-1705; pin + wheel
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for catherine-wheel

Catherine wheel

noun
1.
Also called pinwheel. a type of firework consisting of a powder-filled spiral tube, mounted with a pin through its centre. When lit it rotates quickly, producing a display of sparks and coloured flame
2.
a circular window having ribs radiating from the centre
Word Origin
C16: named after St Catherine of Alexandria

pinwheel

/ˈpɪnˌwiːl/
noun
1.
another name for Catherine wheel (sense 1)
2.
a cogwheel whose teeth are formed by small pins projecting either axially or radially from the rim of the wheel
3.
(US & Canadian) a toy consisting of plastic or paper vanes attached to a stick in such a manner that they revolve like the sails of a windmill Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) windmill, whirligig
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 catherine-wheel

pinwheel

n.

also pin-wheel, 1690s, "a wheel in the striking train of a clock in which pins are fixed to lift the hammer," from pin (n.) + wheel (n.). Fireworks sense is from 1869.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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