Definition of rowel in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈraʊ(ə)l/


A spiked revolving disc at the end of a spur.
Example sentences
  • Through the fifteenth century rowels became smaller and spur necks became longer.
  • This is very nice cavalry spur: it still has the rowel on the back, which is sharp & functional.
  • Spiller’s customers can choose from more than 30 spur designs and rowels.

verb (rowels, rowelling, rowelled; US rowels, roweling, roweled)

[with object]
Use a rowel to urge on (a horse): he rowelled his horse on as fast as he could
More example sentences
  • Bates roweled his horse and disappeared down the street in a dead run.
  • In order to compel greater obedience, riders attach a small spiked wheel at the end of the spur called a rowel which digs into the animal's undersides causing excruciating pain and bloody gashes from being rowelled too hard.


Middle English: from Old French roel(e), from late Latin rotella, diminutive of Latin rota 'wheel'.

Words that rhyme with rowel

avowal, Baden-Powell, bowel, disembowel, dowel, Howell, Powell, towel, trowel, vowel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rowel

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.