I. Crude meaning

  1. a wheel (of a carriage) Dhp.1; Pv-a.65 (ratha˚); Mil.27.
  2. a discus used as a missile weapon Ja.i.74; Pgdp.36; cp khura˚ a razor as an instr. of torture.
  3. a disc, a circle: heṭṭhāpādatalesu cakkāni jātāni, forming the 2nd characteristic mark of a Mahāpurisa DN.ii.17 DN.iii.143; DN.iii.149
    ■ Ja.ii.331; Mil.51.
  4. an array of troops (under tayo vyūhā: paduma˚ cakka˚ sakaṭa˚ Ja.ii.404 = Ja.iv.343

II. Applied meaning

  1. (a wheel as component part of a carriage, or one of a duad or tetrad =) collection, set, part; succession; sphere region, cycle Vin.i.330 (cp. vin. texts ii.281); Vin.iii.96 iriyāpatha˚ the 4 ways of behaviour, the various positions (standing, walking, sitting, lying down) DN-a.i.249 Sdhp.604. sā˚, miga˚ the sphere or region of dogs wild animals Mil.178; cakkena (instr.) in succession Pv-a iii. cakkaṃ kātabbaṃ, or bandhitabbaṃ freq. in Yam. and Paṭṭh, “The cycle of formulated words is to be here repeated.”
  2. (like the four wheels constituting the moving power of a carriage =) a vehicle, instrument, means & ways; attribute, quality state, condition, esp. good condition (fit instrumentality) catucakka an instr. of four, a lucky tetrad, a fourwheeler of the body as expressing itself in the four kinds of deportment, iriyāpathas AN.ii.32; SN.i.16, SN.i.63 (catucakkaṃ). In this sense generalized as a happy state consisting of “4 blessings”: paṭirūpadesa-vāsa, sappurisûpassaya atta-sammāpaṇidhi, pubbe-kata-puññatā AN.ii.32; Ja.v.114; mentioned at Pts.i.84. Cp. also Snp.554 sq.; Snp.684. Esp. pronounced in the two phrases dhamma-cakka (the wheel of the Doctrine, i.e. the symbol of conquering efficacy, or happiness implicated in the D.) and brahma-c˚ the best wheel, the supreme instrument, the noblest quality. Both with pavatteti to start & kcep up (like starting & guiding a carriage), to set rolling, to originate, to make universally known.; dhamma˚; e.g. SN.i.191; AN.i.23, AN.i.101; AN.ii.34, AN.ii.120 AN.iii.151; AN.iv.313; Snp.556 sq.; Snp.693; Ja.iii.412; Pts.ii.159 sq.; Pv-a.67 (see dhamma). brahma˚; MN.i.71; SN.ii.27; AN.ii.9, AN.ii.24; AN.iii.9, AN.iii.417; AN.v.33; Vb.317 sq.; Vb.344 (see brahma). Cp. cakkavattin (below)
    ■ Cp. vi˚.

-chinna (udaka) (water of a well) the wheel of which is broken Ud.83; -bhañjanin one who destroys a state of welfare & good Ja.v.112 (patirāpadesavāsādino kusala-cakkassa bhañjanī C.); -bheda breaking peace or concord, sowing discord Vin.ii.198; Vin.iii.171; -yuga a pair of wheels Vv.83#2; -ratana the treasure of the wheel that is of the sun (cp. Rh. D. Buddh. Suttas p. 252 Dialogues ii.197, 102) DN.ii.171; DN.iii.59 sq., DN.iii.75; Ja.i.63 Ja.ii.311; DN-a.i.249. See also cakkavattin; -vaṭṭaka (nt. a scoop-wheel (a wheel revolving over a well with a string of earthen pots going down empty & coming up full, after dredger fashion) Vin.ii.122; -vattin (cp dhammacakkaṃ pavatteti above) he who sets rolling the Wheel, a just & faithful king (rājā hoti c. dhammiko dhammarājā cāturanto Snp.p.106, in corresp. pass Snp.1002 as vijeyya pathaviṃ imaṃ adaṇḍena asatthena dhammena-m-anusāsati). A definition is given by Bdhgh. at DN-a.i.249
■ Three sorts of c. are later distinguished: a cakkavāla-c˚ a universal king, or cāturanta-c˚ (ruling over four great continents Snp.p.106 Kp-a.227), a dīpa-c˚ (ruling over one), a padesa-c (ruling over part of one) Usually in phrase rājā cakka vattin: DN.i.88; DN.iii.156; DN.iv.302; DN.v.44, DN.v.99, DN.v.342; DN.ii.16 DN.ii.172; DN.iii.59 sq., DN.iii.75, DN.iii.142 sq.; MN.iii.65; AN.i.76, AN.i.109 sq. AN.ii.37, AN.ii.133, AN.ii.245; AN.iii.147 sq; AN.iii.365; AN.iv.89, AN.iv.105; AN.v.22; Kp.viii.12 (˚sukha); Ja.i.51; Ja.ii.395; Ja.iv.119; Vb.336; Pv-a.117; Vv-a.18; Sdhp.238, Sdhp.453; Dhp-a.ii.135 (˚sirī)-˚gabbha Vism.126: -˚rajjaṃ kāresi Ja.ii.311; -viddha (nt.) a particular form of shooting Ja.v.130; -samārūḷha (adj.) having mounted the wheels, i.e. their carts (of janapadā) AN.i.178; AN.iii.66, AN.iii.104.

Vedic cakra, redupl. formation fr. *quel to turn round (cp. P. kaṇṭha → Lat. collus & see also note on gala) = that which is (continuously) turning, i.e. wheel, or abstr, the shape or periphery of it, i.e. circle; Cakra = Gr. κύκλος, Ags. hveohl, hveol = wheel. The unredupl. form in Sk. carati (versatur), Gr. πέλομαι, πολεύω, πόλος (pole); Lat. colo, incolo; Obulg. kolo wheel, Oisl. hvel