Definition of maelstrom
1 : a powerful often violent whirlpool sucking in objects within a given radius tried to shoot the canoe across a stretch of treacherous maelstrom — Harper's
2 : something resembling a maelstrom in turbulence the maelstrom enveloping the country a maelstrom of emotions
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Examples of maelstrom in a Sentence
She was caught in a maelstrom of emotions.
The ship was drawn into the maelstrom.
Recent Examples of maelstrom from the Web
But in trying to navigate the maelstrom of lies unleashed by his unpredictable new client, a steady temperament may only go so far.
Some 11 million people — half the Syrian population— have been forced from their homes by the maelstrom of violence that has consumed the country.
His reserve could bode well for the agency at a time when its work has been thrust into the center of a political maelstrom.
Dooley appeared in court Wednesday in a murder case that has become one of the region's most famous - and one that has caused a political maelstrom.
There were company members who weren’t online and were somewhat cut off from the tweeting, the Facebook posts, the general maelstrom of it all.
June 16, 2017 Athens—Subdued by three bailouts, record high unemployment and a maelstrom of taxes, Greeks were in no mood to party on Friday, June 16, 2017, at news of a last-gasp deal pulling them from the brink of a financial abyss.
In the maelstrom of this year, baseball has slowed life down.
Sessions had one major goal -- to protect himself after Comey thrust him into the center of the Russia maelstrom.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'maelstrom.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Maelstrom comes from an early Dutch proper noun that literally meant "turning stream." The original Maelstrom is a channel that has dangerous tidal currents located off the northwest coast of Norway. The word became popularized in the general vocabulary of English in reference to a powerful whirlpool, or something akin to one, in the 19th century. This was partly due to its use by writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne (whose writing was widely translated from French) in stories exaggerating the tempestuousness of the Norwegian current and transforming it into a whirling vortex.
Origin and Etymology of maelstrom
obsolete Dutch (now maalstroom), from malen to grind + strom stream
First Known Use: 1659See Words from the same year
MAELSTROM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of maelstrom for English Language Learners
: a situation in which there are a lot of confused activities, emotions, etc.
: a dangerous area of water that moves very fast in a circle
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