1

gyre

noun \ ˈjī(-ə)r \

Definition of gyre

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

gyral

play \ˈjī-rəl\ adjective

gyre was our Word of the Day on 11/13/2011. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of gyre from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of gyre

Latin gyrus, from Greek gyros

Other Oceanography Terms


2

gyre

verb

Definition of gyre

gyred; gyring
intransitive verb
:to move in a circle or spiral

Origin and Etymology of gyre

Late Latin gyrare, from Latin gyrus


Learn More about gyre


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up gyre? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

serious difficulty or misfortune

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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