vortex

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

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Synonyms for vortex

Synonyms

gulf, maelstrom, whirlpool

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Examples of vortex in a Sentence

a boat sucked down into the vortex

Recent Examples on the Web

One of those polar vortex pieces is responsible for the sub-zero temperatures across the Midwest this week. Ivan Moreno, The Seattle Times, "Heavy snow hitting parts of Midwest; dangerous cold coming," 28 Jan. 2019 In addition, many tornadoes contain much smaller (diameters of 40 feet or less) but more violent vortexes within the larger tornado circulation. Tom Skilling, chicagotribune.com, "Ask Tom: Can tornadoes 'hop' over certain places?," 25 June 2018 After the recent polar vortex, most of us are wishing for an early spring. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Joanna Gaines Bundled Up 7-Month-Old Crew in This Top-Rated Baby Snowsuit You Can Buy," 5 Feb. 2019 The vortex lasted for days, large enough to swallow full-sized boats, so concerned lake officials immediately posted signs and buoys to keep visitors from getting sucked down the drain like a rubber duckie. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Texas Lake Developed a Boat-Swallowing Whirlpool," 3 Sep. 2018 The Leicester Fire and Rescue Service posted several videos showing the swirling vortex of fire and air, which is caused when cooler air enters the top of the fire's hot air. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "'Firenado' caught on film during 10-engine blaze," 9 Aug. 2018 Last week’s polar vortex brought another chilling reminder about the economic damage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s shale-drilling blockade. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Cuomo’s Cold Weather Tax," 4 Feb. 2019 But during a polar vortex, trekking to a subpar space three neighborhoods away isn’t as appetizing as Postmating ramen and watching Frozen (the 2010 horror film where three skiers get stuck on a chairlift and then ripped apart by wolves. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The New York City Restaurants to Know This Winter," 4 Feb. 2019 The scimitar shape of the main rotor reduces the noise generated, as each blade tip cuts through vortexes left in the wake of the blade ahead of it. Eric Adams, WIRED, "Airbus' H160 Helicopter Helps Save Pilots from Their Own Mistakes," 31 May 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for vortex

Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vortex

The first known use of vortex was in 1652

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More Definitions for vortex

vortex

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vortex

technical : a mass of spinning air, liquid, etc., that pulls things into its center
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on vortex

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vortex

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vortex

Spanish Central: Translation of vortex

Nglish: Translation of vortex for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vortex for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vortex

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