fifth wheel

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n fifth wheel a steering bearing that enables the front axle of a horse-drawn wagon to rotate
    • n fifth wheel an extra car wheel and tire for a four-wheel vehicle
    • n fifth wheel someone or something that is unwanted and unneeded
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Fifth wheel a horizontal wheel or segment above the fore axle of a carriage and beneath the body, forming an extended support to prevent careening.
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Idioms

Fifth wheel - (USA) A fifth wheel is something unnecessary or useless.
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Usage

In literature:

Think I want to be fifth wheel in the coach?
"Main Street" by Sinclair Lewis
A soul's a sort of a fifth wheel to a wagon.
"Moby Dick; or The Whale" by Herman Melville
Or what do you think of 'The Fifth Wheel'?
"The March Family Trilogy, Complete" by William Dean Howells
May began to repent of her determination to walk; Lescombe seemed very far off, and she had an instinct that she was an awkward fifth wheel.
"Nuttie's Father" by Charlotte M. Yonge
A council to the Duke of Burgundy was indeed a veritable fifth wheel.
"Yolanda: Maid of Burgundy" by Charles Major
Fifth wheels trying to hitch on to every coach.
"Real Folks" by Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney
He was a fifth wheel, so to speak, now that the revolution was over.
"Truxton King" by George Barr McCutcheon
He is a joke at the bank, where he is a sort of fifth wheel.
"The Little Colonel's Chum: Mary Ware" by Annie Fellows Johnston
He would be only a fifth wheel to the coach and, before long, he had made up his mind that he had better stick to his military career.
"A Canadian Manor and Its Seigneurs" by George M. Wrong
In the thirty-fifth they are broken upon the wheel.
"A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Three" by Thomas Frognall Dibdin
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In news:

All the latest recreation vehicles were on display Saturday afternoon, including over 50 units and over 15 brands of folding campers , travel trailers and fifth wheels.
The New Horizons Majestic is an Exceptional Fifth-Wheel Designed for Full-Time Living.
I noticed that my son's larger and heavier fifth-wheel trailer had light-truck tires instead of trailer tires.
Boy hit by truck towing fifth-wheel trailer.
Four-season, luxury fifth-wheel builder DRV Luxury Suites will be rolling out new looks, features and industry-first floorplans and decors during the National RV Trade Show, Nov 27-29 in Louisville, Ky.
Goshen, Ind.-based Lippert Components Inc announced that its patented JT's Strong Arm Jack Stabilizer system will be factory installed as standard equipment on Keystone RV Co.'s 2013 Outback travel trailer and fifth-wheel RVs.
Who says trailer and fifth-wheel toy hauler-owners get to have all the fun.
The young woman who lived in the fifth-wheel was home, but was not injured.
This last year, my state set records for rainfall, and I am considering covering up our 2000 Coachmen fifth-wheel during the winter.
Holiday Rambler will be showing an all-new Presidential luxury fifth-wheel to dealers at next week's Elkhart County RV Open House in northern Indiana.
CrossRoads RV announced the addition of Rudy Boals and Brian Linn as regional sales managers for the Topeka, Ind.-based company's Rushmore luxury fifth-wheel line.
I tow a fifth-wheel with a hitch-pin weight of 2,160 pounds.
Elkhart, Ind.-based supplier Ultra-Fab Products Inc has introduced the Ultra 30-inch scissor jacks, designed to add stability to travel trailers, fifth-wheels, and horse and cargo trailers.
For more than 39 years, Teton Homes has been manufacturing premium fifth-wheel trailers.
In recent years, the company has moved to develop a high-end fifth-wheel in the 30- to 32-foot range that can be connected to either a shortbed or a longbed tow vehicle.
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