follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

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
1695-1705; pin + wheel
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for pinwheel
  • Hundreds of swifts, rock doves, and even a few raptors pinwheel inside.
  • How they toured the campus on identical bicycles, one with a pinwheel on its handlebars.
  • The spider surveyed its universe, but everything beyond that gossamer pinwheel was incomprehensible.
  • The campaign is built around the symbol of the pinwheel.
British Dictionary definitions for pinwheel

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for 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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pinwheel

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pinwheel

16
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pinwheel