wheel and axle

noun
a simple machine consisting, in its typical form, of a cylindrical drum to which a wheel concentric with the drum is firmly fastened: ropes are so applied that as one unwinds from the wheel, another rope is wound on to the drum.

Origin:
1765–75

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To wheel and axle
Collins
World English Dictionary
wheel and axle
 
n
a simple machine for raising weights in which a rope unwinding from a wheel is wound onto a cylindrical drum or shaft coaxial with or joined to the wheel to provide mechanical advantage

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

wheel and axle

basic machine component for amplifying force. In its earliest form it was probably used for raising weights or water buckets from wells. Its principle of operation is demonstrated by the large and small gears attached to the same shaft, as shown at A in the . The tendency of a force F applied at the radius R on the large gear to turn the shaft is sufficient to overcome the larger force W at the radius r on the small gear. The force amplification, or mechanical advantage, is equal to the ratio of the two forces (W:F) and also equal to the ratio of the radii of the two gears (R:r).

Learn more about wheel and axle with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Lightly oil the wheel and axle occasionally, unless it has sealed bearings.
Wheel and axle loads for an individual vehicle are not difficult to determine.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature