vor·​tex | \ ˈvȯr-ˌteks How to pronounce vortex (audio) \
plural vortices\ ˈvȯr-​tə-​ˌsēz How to pronounce vortex (audio) \ also vortexes\ ˈvȯr-​ˌtek-​səz How to pronounce vortex (audio) \

Definition of vortex

1 : something that resembles a whirlpool the hellish vortex of battleTime
2a : a mass of fluid (such as a liquid) with a whirling or circular motion that tends to form a cavity or vacuum in the center of the circle and to draw toward this cavity or vacuum bodies subject to its action especially : whirlpool, eddy
b : a region within a body of fluid in which the fluid elements have an angular velocity

Synonyms for vortex


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of vortex in a Sentence

a boat sucked down into the vortex
Recent Examples on the Web Teaching high schoolers to ignore the vortex of their phones is undoubtedly challenging, but so is the practical implementation of a ban that both parents and students will resist. WIRED, 9 Sep. 2022 The lack of a transcendent quarterback and recruiting misfires spawned the vortex. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 8 Sep. 2022 The video, from KTLA-TV Channel 5, shows a swirling vortex of flames and a rising column of smoke. Gregory Yeestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2022 Vanishing from the vortex of bad news and screen time for two hours is productive and restorative in a way that a six-month hiatus isn’t—a pause for sanity, not a retreat for selfishness. Grayson Haver Currin, Outside Online, 28 July 2022 While one of the men managed to climb out after falling down, the other is seen on video submerged underneath the water and attempting to escape the vortex. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 20 July 2022 When a wave begins to break, tiny aerated regions along the leading edge cause a few streams to separate from the main vortex. Joanna Thompson, Scientific American, 20 July 2022 And yet, released from the vortex of Ping’s spite, Will only receded further into himself. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 16 May 2022 Thanks to our resident dream vortex Rose Walker (Vanesu Samunyai), viewers got a peek at the dreams of her neighbors in the boarding house run by Hal (John Cameron Mitchell). Christian Holub, EW.com, 9 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of vortex

1652, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vortex

New Latin vortic-, vortex, from Latin vertex, vortex whirlpool — more at vertex

Learn More About vortex

Dictionary Entries Near vortex




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for vortex

Last Updated

17 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vortex.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vortex. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for vortex


transitive verb
vor·​tex | \ ˈvȯ(ə)r-ˌteks How to pronounce vortex (audio) \

Medical Definition of vortex

: to mix (as the contents of a test tube) by means of a rapid whirling or circular motion vortex air into a solution

Other Words from vortex

vortexing noun

More from Merriam-Webster on vortex

Nglish: Translation of vortex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vortex for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vortex


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

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

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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