a small wheel with radiating points, forming the extremity of a spur. See illus. under spur1.
Veterinary Medicine. a piece of leather or the like inserted beneath the skin of a horse or other animal to promote drainage of an infection.
verb (used with object), roweled, roweling or (especially British) rowelled, rowelling.
to prick or urge with a rowel.
Veterinary Medicine. to insert a rowel in.

1350–1400; Middle English rowelle < Middle French ruelle, Old French roel < Late Latin rotella, equivalent to Latin rot(a) wheel + -ella -elle

unroweled; especially British, unrowelled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
rowel (ˈraʊəl)
1.  a small spiked wheel attached to a spur
2.  obsolete vet science a piece of leather or other material inserted under the skin of a horse to act as a seton and allow drainage
vb , -els, -elling, -elled, -els, -eling, -eled
3.  to goad (a horse) using a rowel
4.  obsolete vet science to insert a rowel in (the skin of a horse) to allow drainage
[C14: from Old French roel a little wheel, from roe a wheel, from Latin rota]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"pointed wheel on a spur," 1344, from O.Fr. roelle "small wheel" (see roulette).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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