vor·​tic·​i·​ty | \ vȯr-ˈti-sə-tē How to pronounce vorticity (audio) \

Definition of vorticity

1 : the state of a fluid in vortical motion broadly : vortical motion
2 : a measure of vortical motion especially : a vector measure of local rotation in a fluid flow

Examples of vorticity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some of the vorticity might originally be around a horizontal axis, but once air is sucked up into the fire plume, its hot, buoyant upward stream causes the axis to tilt to a vertical orientation. Jason M. Forthofer, Scientific American, "Can Scientists Predict Fire Tornadoes?," 20 Nov. 2019 The vorticity in the extra dimensions can suddenly initiate a bounce. Quanta Magazine, "How the Universe Got Its Bounce Back," 31 Jan. 2018 The color represents vorticity, a quantity related to angular momentum. Lee Phillips, Ars Technica, "Turbulence, the oldest unsolved problem in physics," 10 Oct. 2018 Much like a dust devil or whirlwind, the rapidly rising air above a wildfire can accelerate and turn the local vorticity into a tight vertical vortex, now composed of fire instead of dust. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Video: Hellish ‘firenado’ seen in devastating fire season in Portugal," 19 Oct. 2017 This measure, called the vorticity, provides a measure of how rapidly a fluid is rotating. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Taking quark-gluon plasma for a spin may un-break a fundamental symmetry," 2 Aug. 2017 The influx of additional heat, moisture, and positive vorticity (atmospheric spin) may even help to intensify the primary circulation. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "The science behind this strange dance between hurricanes Hilary and Irwin," 31 July 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of vorticity

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vorticity

Time Traveler for vorticity

Time Traveler

The first known use of vorticity was in 1888

See more words from the same year

Statistics for vorticity

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Vorticity.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vorticity. Accessed 11 December 2019.

Comments on vorticity

What made you want to look up vorticity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


heavy with or as if with moisture

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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