"to turn like a wheel," c. 1200, from wheel (n.); transitive sense attested from late 14c. Related: Wheeled; wheeling.
Old English hweol, hweogol "wheel," from Proto-Germanic *hwewlaz (source also of Old Norse hvel, Old Swedish hiughl, Old Frisian hwel, Middle Dutch weel), from PIE *kw(e)-kwl-o- "wheel, circle," suffixed, reduplicated form of root *kwel- (1) "revolve, move round; sojourn, dwell."
Figurative sense is early 14c. Wheel of fortune attested from early 15c. Slang wheels "a car" is recorded from 1959. Wheeler-dealer is from 1954, a rhyming elaboration of dealer.
also paddlewheel, "wheel provided with boards or floats around its circumference, for use in moving water," 1680s, so called by its inventor, but the word was not in common use until 1805 and the rise of the steamboat with a side-mounted paddle-wheel turned by steam power for the propulsion of the vessel, from paddle (n.) + wheel (n.).