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.
"to turn like a wheel," c. 1200, from wheel (n.); transitive sense attested from late 14c. Related: Wheeled; wheeling.
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