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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. The little wheel of a spur, with sharp points. With sounding whip, and rowels dyed in blood. (Cowper)

2. A little flat ring or wheel on horses' bits. The iron rowels into frothy foam he bit. (Spenser)

3. (Science: veterinary) A roll of hair, silk, etc, passed through the flesh of horses, answering to a seton in human surgery.

Origin: OF. Roele, rouele, properly, a little wheel, F. Rouelle collop, slice, LL. Rotella a little wheel, dim. Of L. Rota a wheel. See Roll, and cf. Rota.

(Science: veterinary) To insert a rowel, or roll of hair or silk, into (as the flesh of a horse).

Origin: Roweled or Rowelled; Roweling or Rowelling.