gyre

noun
\ˈjī(-ə)r \

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 \ adjective

Did You Know?

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

Golden fragments of seaweed float by, escapees, perhaps, from the Sargasso Sea’s swirling gyre in the Atlantic Ocean. Helen Scales, Discover Magazine, "Hearing Nemo," 17 Aug. 2018 Overall, the animals could be found within these whirlpool-like gyres more than three-fourths of the time. Brian J. Skerry, National Geographic, "Why Great White Sharks Hang Out in Warm Whirlpools," 19 June 2018 Slat originally envisioned one massive boom, more than 60 miles long, blocking trash in the middle of the gyre, with ships arriving occasionally to haul away the mess. James Rainey /, NBC News, "A young Dutch inventor wants to clean plastic from the ocean. Can he do it?," 13 June 2018 Mueller has remained an impassive cypher: the stoic, silent figure at the center of America’s political gyre. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The Untold Story of Robert Mueller's Time in Combat," 15 May 2018 Similar aggregations can be found in the oceans' four other circular currents, or gyres, with one patch each in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean and two in the Atlantic. NBC News, "The Pacific Ocean has a plastic problem. Here's the bold plan to fix it," 21 Apr. 2018 Some plastic is nearly impossible to remove--the microplastics like microbeads that make up 8 percent of the total gyre. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Mostly Made of Fishing Gear," 23 Mar. 2018 Mid-ocean gyres are fortunately neither especially rich in fauna nor particularly biodiverse. The Economist, "The environmentThe known unknowns of plastic pollution," 3 Mar. 2018 They are born by the billions in the Sargasso Sea, a gyre of North Atlantic currents swirling near Bermuda, as clear, flat larvae. Karen Pinchin, Smithsonian, "The Epic Fight Over the Enigmatic Eel," 5 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for gyre

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gyre

The first known use of gyre was in 1566

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More from Merriam-Webster on gyre

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gyre

Britannica English: Translation of gyre for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gyre

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