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

  • n. A wheel that regulates rate of movement in machine parts, as in a watch.
  • n. A stabilizing influence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The timekeeping device normally used in mechanical watches and small clocks. Consisting of a wheel which oscillates due to a coiled spring.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A wheel which regulates the beats or pulses of a watch or chronometer, answering to the pendulum of a clock; -- often called simply a balance.
  • A ratchet-shaped scape wheel, which in some watches is acted upon by the axis of the balance wheel proper (in those watches called a balance).
  • A wheel which imparts regularity to the movements of any engine or machine; a fly wheel.
  • n. See in the Vocab.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A wheel in a watch or chronometer which by the regularity of its motion determines the beat or strike.
  • n. Figuratively, whatever serves for the regulation or co├Ârdination of movements.

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

  • n. a wheel that regulates the rate of movement in a machine; especially a wheel oscillating against the hairspring of a timepiece to regulate its beat


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