Definition of Catherine wheel in English:

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Catherine wheel

Pronunciation: /ˈkaθrɪn wiːl/


A firework in the form of a flat coil which spins when fixed to something solid and lit.
Example sentences
  • But if we wish to avoid establishing a black market, and the sale of fireworks to the public is to continue, then let these be the sparklers, Catherine wheels and small rockets Mr Waller appears to favour.
  • By the end of the day we managed to acquire a substantial collection of rockets, Catherine wheels and sparklers.
  • Next was a 2/6 box - as before with a couple of rockets, a few Catherine wheels and some Bangers.


Late 16th century (as a heraldic term for a spiked wheel): named after St Catherine (see Catherine, St), with reference to her martyrdom.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Cath|er¦ine wheel

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