1 of 2


ed·​dy ˈe-dē How to pronounce eddy (audio)
plural eddies
: a current of water or air running contrary to the main current
especially : a circular current : whirlpool
: something moving similarly
: a contrary or circular current (as of thought or policy)


2 of 2


eddied; eddying

transitive verb

: to cause to move in an eddy

intransitive verb

: to move in an eddy or in the manner of an eddy

Example Sentences

Noun The boat was caught in a powerful eddy. Verb The wind gusted and eddied around us. The waves swirled and eddied against the pier.
Recent Examples on the Web
The eddy is named for Santa Catalina Island, one of the Channel Islands offshore between Los Angeles and San Diego. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 30 July 2017 Every storm and every gentle eddy of air traces its energy back to the solar rays—173 petawatts of energy beating down on our planet, relentlessly heating the air and stirring the atmosphere. Julie Powell, Discover Magazine, 20 Oct. 2012 Santa Ana winds, coastal eddy, El Niño and La Niña. Los Angeles Times, 29 Dec. 2022 Lake works the crowd, and an eddy of staff and security circles the woman at its center. Ruby Cramer, Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2021 Lake works the crowd, and an eddy of staff and security circles the woman at its center. Ruby Cramer, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Oct. 2022 Forecasters say a coastal eddy will develop west of San Clemente Island before dawn on Friday, causing cooler sea air to flow across San Diego County beaches for part of the day. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Sep. 2022 These events are categorized into easy rider, steady eddy, and speed freak, providing spaces for all kinds of cyclists, and are central to raising funds to support Fearless Flyers. Alex Showerman, Outside Online, 1 June 2021 There was a serene, domestic quality to the scene that felt as enchanted as Natasha’s picnic area: an eddy of calm, however chimerical, carved out of mayhem. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 23 July 2022
As a result, other stray digital ephemera are sucked into this eddying body—fashion photos of NBA baller Chris Paul, a random clip of someone’s dad—all of them in conversation with one another. Jason Parham, Wired, 14 Feb. 2020 In the same way that eddies in a stream alter downstream currents, Elgindi’s work itself prompted a new round of mathematical discovery. Quanta Magazine, 13 Jan. 2020 The toilets at home were white and eddied the business away. Vanessa Martir, Longreads, 27 Nov. 2019 Even as rhymes ricochet about, the whole seems to eddy from the walls into the room’s center. BostonGlobe.com, 31 Oct. 2019 The dancers’ bodies seem always a-curve, torsos and arms frequently describing circles in the air, or whole bodies eddying down and pooling out into soft rolls on the floor. Janine Parker, BostonGlobe.com, 5 July 2019 The generous space between them is insurance that a fire in one is less likely to spread to another, and the arrangement ensures there won’t be a constricted area where the wind might eddy in a blizzard and pile snow against a tent entrance. Barry Lopez, Harper's magazine, 10 Jan. 2019 This is all great, but no one has ever measured the way that eddies flux heat or CO2. Quanta Magazine, 11 Apr. 2013 Below, a meadow of soft gold wild grass sways in the wind like the bay’s eddying waters. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, 15 Aug. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eddy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English (Scots) ydy, probably from Old Norse itha

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1810, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of eddy was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near eddy

Cite this Entry

“Eddy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eddy. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
ed·​dy ˈed-ē How to pronounce eddy (audio)
plural eddies
: a current of air or water running against the main current or in a circle


2 of 2 verb
eddied; eddying
: to move in an eddy or in a way that forms an eddy

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Ed·​dy ˈe-dē How to pronounce Eddy (audio)
Mary (Morse) 1821–1910 née Baker American founder of the Christian Science Church
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?