Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
- in a bicycle, a device in the rear hub that permits the rear wheel to go on turning when the pedals are stopped
- in some automobiles, helicopters, etc. a device that permits the speed of the drive shaft or rotor to exceed that of the engine shaft, thus producing greater speeds with no increase in power
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
noun also free wheel
- A power-transmission device that allows the drive shaft of a motor vehicle to continue turning when its speed is greater than that of the engine shaft.
- A clutch in the rear-wheel hub of a bicycle that permits the wheel to turn without pedal action, as in coasting.
- To continue turning or spinning after disengagement from the drive mechanism.
- To live or move freely and sometimes aimlessly or irresponsibly.
- To operate independently or free of restraints.