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 gyral (audio) \ 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 Borrowers began to default, saddling lenders with losses and creating a widening gyre of insolvency. The Economist, "Repo-market ructions were a reminder of the financial crisis," 26 Sep. 2019 Water currents and gyres The ocean doesn't sit still like water in a sink. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "The Atlantic Ocean, explained," 18 Mar. 2019 These first days of physical isolation and cultural deprivation have been a furious gyre. Jason Farago, New York Times, "The Merry-Go-Round Stopped. What Sort of Art Will Emerge?," 25 Mar. 2020 For one thing, ocean gyres tend to alter the sea levels around them. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "The Ocean’s Swirling Currents Are Migrating Poleward," 28 Feb. 2020 The data suggests that the gyres have been steadily moving toward the poles for the last four decades. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "The Ocean’s Swirling Currents Are Migrating Poleward," 28 Feb. 2020 It is bounded by an enormous gyre -- spinning oceanic currents that pull trash towards the center and trap it there, creating a garbage vortex. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "Long-distance swimmer dives into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch," 11 Dec. 2019 The voyage will cross four oceanic gyres, where ocean plastic is known to accumulate, and the Arctic. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Lake Erie paddler Stefanie Spear to sail on all-women eXXpedition to spotlight plastic pollution," 26 Nov. 2019 Dr Ryan’s particular interest was where all the litter came from before it was swept into the gyre. The Economist, "Inaccessible Island’s rubbish problem has been bottling up for years," 3 Oct. 2019

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

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gyre.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gyre. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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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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