- an amusement ride consisting of a large upright wheel rotating on a fixed stand and having seats around its rim suspended freely so that they remain right side up as they revolve.
- a fairground wheel having seats freely suspended from its rim; the seats remain horizontal throughout its rotation
1893, American English, from U.S. engineer George W.G. Ferris (1859-1896), who designed it for the World’s Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, 1893. It was 250 feet tall and meant to rival the Eiffel Tower, from the 1889 Paris Exposition.