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

Days before the first primary debates, the candidates are busy prepping their talking points about their vision for the future, and don’t want to get sucked into the President’s vortex of accusations and denials. Charlotte Alter, Time, "Why 2020 Democrats Aren't Highlighting the Rape Allegation Against Trump," 26 June 2019 Coriolis forces, named for French scientist Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis, aren’t strong enough to form a vortex there. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "Hurricanes: How These Destructive Storms Form, and Why They Get So Strong," 26 June 2019 As anyone in the Midwest could testify, this past week has been spent in the throes of the freezing cold polar vortex. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Polar Vortex Looks Absolutely Chilling From Space," 1 Feb. 2019 That's possibly due to how an insect wing can rotate to slightly get rid of the vortex for an extra bit of lift, enabling the insect to change direction. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "This nifty flying robot can hover, bank, and turn as deftly as a fruit fly," 13 Sep. 2018 But Crawford cautions that the relationship between Arctic ice and summer temperatures may not work this year because of the weird behavior of the polar vortex since the spring, which could exert a cooling influence into the summer. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Private companies and Weather Service agree: Washington faces yet another hotter-than-normal summer," 22 May 2018 An unstable polar vortex can expand and send cold Arctic air into the jet stream, leading to frigid winter weather and storms southward. Christina Nunez, National Geographic, "The jet stream, explained," 8 Mar. 2019 On the physical side, turbulence happens when a smooth fluid flow starts to split into smaller eddies and vortices. Quanta Magazine, "The Trouble With Turbulence," 28 Jan. 2019 In a way, H&M constructed its own Instagram vortex. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "I Spent 48 Hours in the Sedona Vortex With H&M Studio and Its New Spring 2019 Collection," 14 Mar. 2019

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

5 Jul 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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