A pinwheel is a spinning toy that looks like a flower on a stick. Blow on it or run through the garden with one and watch it spin. Some things, like peppermints, have a pinwheel pattern.

A pinwheel is a stick with twisted paper or plastic pieces that turn as they catch the wind. The original pinwheel, first called a whirligig, was invented in the nineteenth century by a woman who imagined children running while holding them in the air, which is exactly how pinwheels are usually played with. Before the toy, a pinwheel was a gear in a train's mechanism, and also a spinning firework also called a Catherine wheel.

Definitions of pinwheel
  1. noun
    a toy consisting of vanes of colored paper or plastic that is pinned to a stick and spins when it is pointed into the wind
    synonyms: pinwheel wind collector
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    type of:
    plaything, toy
    an artifact designed to be played with
  2. noun
    a circular firework that spins round and round emitting colored fire
    synonyms: catherine wheel
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    type of:
    firework, pyrotechnic
    (usually plural) a device with an explosive that burns at a low rate and with colored flames; can be used to illuminate areas or send signals etc.
  3. noun
    a wheel that has numerous pins that are set at right angles to its rim
    “he spun the pinwheel and it stopped with the pointer on `Go'”
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    type of:
    a simple machine consisting of a circular frame with spokes (or a solid disc) that can rotate on a shaft or axle (as in vehicles or other machines)
  4. noun
    perennial subshrub of Tenerife having leaves in rosettes resembling pinwheels
    synonyms: Aeonium haworthii
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    type of:
    subshrub, suffrutex
    low-growing woody shrub or perennial with woody base
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