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

The rockets and satellites launched during the Cold War helped provide a major breakthrough in weather prediction: the first images sent from the edge of space showed Earth wrapped in bands and whirls and vortices that stretched thousands of miles. Hannah Fry, The New Yorker, "Why Weather Forecasting Keeps Getting Better," 24 June 2019 New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t operate in that vortex. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Is a detention center a concentration camp?," 22 June 2019 Harper, a six-time All-Star at 25, is caught in the vortex. Ben Walker, The Seattle Times, "Baseball’s shifting culture set to play out in All-Star Game," 16 July 2018 Bomb cyclones, polar vortexes, and arctic air masses are expected to blanket the region. National Geographic, "Bomb Cyclones and Polar Vortexes—This Winter's Scary Weather Explained," 3 Jan. 2018 The air flows through the filaments and leaves a swirling trail of air behind, or what’s called a separated vortex ring. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian, "Five Scientific Findings That Could Lead to New Inventions," 13 July 2019 Would last winter’s polar vortex deliver a knock-out punch? Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Despite last winter's polar vortex, emerald ash borer continues to march across Wisconsin," 18 June 2019 After dazzling at the Met Gala earlier this month, the diva headed back to Los Angeles and into a polar vortex. Vogue, "Forget Summer! Winter is Coming for Lady Gaga," 23 May 2019 Lord Kelvin proposed that atoms were knotted vortexes swirling in the ether, an invisible, fluidlike medium believed at the time to fill space. Quanta Magazine, "Could Knots Unravel Mysteries of Fluid Flow?," 9 Dec. 2013

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

16 Aug 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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