- 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
nounalso 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.
intransitive verbfree·wheeled, free·wheel·ing, free·wheels
- 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.
- a device in a transmission that disengages the driveshaft from the driven shaft when the driven shaft rotates faster than the driveshaft.
(third-person singular simple present freewheels, present participle freewheeling, simple past and past participle freewheeled)