from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One of the rods or braces connecting the hub and rim of a wheel.
  • n. Nautical One of the handles projecting from the rim of a ship's steering wheel.
  • n. A rod or stick that may be inserted into a wheel to prevent it from turning.
  • n. A rung of a ladder.
  • transitive v. To equip with spokes.
  • transitive v. To impede (a wheel) by inserting a rod.
  • v. Past tense of speak.
  • v. Archaic A past participle of speak.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A piece that fits between the axle and the round outside, or rim, of a wheel.
  • v. To furnish (a wheel) with spokes.
  • v. Simple past of speak.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. of speak.
  • n. The radius or ray of a wheel; one of the small bars which are inserted in the hub, or nave, and which serve to support the rim or felly.
  • n. A projecting handle of a steering wheel.
  • n. A rung, or round, of a ladder.
  • n. A contrivance for fastening the wheel of a vehicle, to prevent it from turning in going down a hill.
  • transitive v. To furnish with spokes, as a wheel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fit or furnish with spokes: as, to spoke a wheel.
  • Preterit and obsolete past participle of speak.
  • n. One of the bars, rods, or rungs which are inserted in the hub or nave of a wheel, and serve to support the rim or felly; a radius of a wheel. See cut under felly.
  • n. One of the rounds or rungs of a ladder.
  • n. One of a number of pins or handles jutting from the periphery of the steering-wheel of a vessel.
  • n. A bar of wood or metal so placed in or applied to the wheel of a vehicle as to prevent its turning, as when going down a hill. See second phrase below.
  • n. See spoke-stitch.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. support consisting of a radial member of a wheel joining the hub to the rim
  • n. one of the crosspieces that form the steps of a ladder


Middle English, from Old English spāca.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English spaca (Wiktionary)



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