General English

Cars & Driving

  • noun the casing-and-tread assembly that is mounted on a wheel to provide pneumatically cushioned contact and traction with the road


  • noun a circular rubber cover containing an air-filled inner tube, which is fitted to a vehicle wheel


  • noun a thick rubber cover round a wheel

Origin & History of “tyre”

The word tyre was originally used for a protective covering of metal plates put round the rim of a wooden wheel. It is thought that it was short for attire (13th c.) (a borrowing from Old French, but ultimately of unknown origin), the notion being of ‘attiring’ the wheels in their covering. At first the word was spelled tire or tyre indiscriminately. By the 18th century tire had become the standard form, and it remains so in American English, but when rubber wheel cushions were introduced in the 19th century, British English took to spelling them tyre.