from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small hand-wheel with projecting pins against which the thumb of the operator may press to turn the valve-spindle attached to the wheel.
  • n. A wheel or segment attached to and forming part of a larger hand-wheel, and so arranged that, it can be turned by the thumbs of the hands which are controlling the larger wheel: used in motor-car practice.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • MyFord Touch redesigns the in-car interface, mirroring how consumers interact with most devices in their lives using touch-sensitive buttons, touch screens, thumb-wheel controls and voice recognition.

    WebWire | Recent Headlines

  • You'll need a BlackBerry with a trackball -- basically any model from the Pearl on forward -- or the touchscreen-equipped BlackBerry Storm to use BlackBerry App World, which may come as a blow to old-schoolers stuck with the clunky thumb-wheel models.

    Toronto Sun

  • In the same way that photographers have demanded that ISO be as easy to access and change as shutter speed or aperture, Tusch says he hopes that in the future, dynamic range compression will be a turn of a thumb-wheel away.

    News: Digital Photography Review (


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.