gyre

noun
\ ˈjī(-ə)r How to pronounce gyre (audio) \

Definition of gyre

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a circular or spiral motion or form especially : a giant circular oceanic surface current

gyre

verb
gyred; gyring

Definition of gyre (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to move in a circle or spiral

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Other Words from gyre

Noun

gyral \ ˈjī-​rəl How to pronounce gyre (audio) \ adjective

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Noun

William Butler Yeats opens his 1920 poem, "The Second Coming," with the following lines: "Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer; / Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…." Often found in poetic or literary contexts as an alternative to the more familiar "circle" or "spiral," "gyre" comes via the Latin gyrus from the Greek gyros, meaning "ring" or "circle." Today, "gyre" is most frequently encountered as an oceanographic term that refers to vast circular systems of ocean currents, such as the North Atlantic Gyre, a system of currents circling clockwise between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. "Gyre" is also sometimes used of more localized vortices such as those produced by whirlpools or tornados.

Examples of gyre in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To get those tags on, though, the crew of banders would first need to get past the two angry parents, who circled around in a widening gyre. BostonGlobe.com, 27 May 2021 Ghost nets foul oceans throughout the world, but the Hawaiian Islands — with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the east and another gyre of floating trash to the west — are an epicenter for marine waste. Fox News, 27 May 2021 Ghost nets foul oceans throughout the world, but the Hawaiian Islands — with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the east and another gyre of floating trash to the west — are an epicenter for marine waste. Caleb Jones, Anchorage Daily News, 27 May 2021 Ghost nets foul oceans throughout the world, but the Hawaiian Islands – with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the east and another gyre of floating trash to the west – are an epicenter for marine waste. Caleb Jones, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 May 2021 But then came a brace of developments that significantly widened the gyre. New York Times, 15 May 2021 But then came a brace of developments that significantly widened the gyre. BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2021 Unlike most seas, the Sargasso doesn’t have strict boundaries but is loosely formed by the swirling currents of the North Atlantic gyre. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 May 2021 Although ocean currents swirl around it, within the gyre the water stills. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, 4 Mar. 2021

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

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First Known Use of gyre

Noun

1566, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1593, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gyre

Noun

Latin gyrus, from Greek gyros

Verb

Late Latin gyrare, from Latin gyrus

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gyre.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gyre. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on gyre

Britannica English: Translation of gyre for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gyre

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