wedge

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

wedge / wej/ • n. a piece of wood, metal, or some other material having one thick end and tapering to a thin edge, that is driven between two objects or parts of an object to secure or separate them. ∎  an object or piece of something having such a shape: a wedge of cheese. ∎  a formation of people or animals with such a shape. ∎  a golf club with a low, angled face for maximum loft. ∎  a shot made with such a club. ∎  a shoe, typically having a fairly high heel, of which the heel and sole form a solid block, with no gap under the instep. ∎  a heel of this kind. ∎ Mus. another term for dash. • v. 1. [tr.] fix in position using a wedge: [tr.] the door was wedged open. 2. [tr.] force into a narrow space: I wedged the bags into the back seat. PHRASES: drive a wedge between separate: the general aimed to drive a wedge between the city and its northern defenses. ∎  cause disagreement or hostility between: I'm not trying to drive a wedge between you and your father. thin end of the wedge inf. an action or procedure of little importance in itself, but likely to lead to more serious developments.

views updated

wedge, piece of wood or metal thick at one end and sloping to a thin edge at the other; an application of the inclined plane. It is employed in separating two objects from each other or in separating one part of a solid object from an adjoining part, as in splitting wood. The thin edge is applied to the surface of the solid or to the crack between two solids, and force is applied to the opposite thick edge. The ax, chisel, knife, nail, and carpenter's plane are wedges, and the cam is a rotating wedge.

views updated

wedge In mechanics, an example of the inclined plane. It is used to multiply an applied force while changing its direction of action. For example, if a metal or wooden wedge is driven into a block of wood then a force is exerted by the wedge at right angles to the applied force and greater than it.

views updated

wedge drive a wedge between separate.
wedge issue in the US, a divisive political issue, especially one that is raised by a candidate for public office in the hope of attracting or alienating an opponent's supporters.
the thin end of the wedge an action or procedure of little importance that is likely to lead to more serious developments.

views updated

Wedge

anything in the form of a wedge, e.g., a body of troops; a group of animals or birds; silver plate collectively, 1725.

Examples: wedge of cheese, 1835; of wild fowl, 1869; of clangorous geese, 1889; of wild geese, 1725; of horse, 1615; of men, 1614; of policemen, 1887; of standing people, 1913; of swans; of troops.

views updated

wedge piece of wood, etc. thick at one end and tapering to a thin edge at the other; †ingot OE.; other special senses from XVI. OE. weċġ = OS. weggi (Du. wegge wedge-shaped cake), OHG. weggi, wecki, ON. veggr :- Gmc. *waʒjaz.

views updated

wedge See RIDGE.

views updated

wedgeallege, dredge, edge, fledge, hedge, kedge, ledge, pledge, reg, sedge, sledge, veg, wedge •straight edge