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[ed-ee] /ˈɛd i/
noun, plural eddies.
a current at variance with the main current in a stream of liquid or gas, especially one having a rotary or whirling motion.
a small whirlpool.
any similar current, as of air, dust, or fog.
a current or trend, as of opinion or events, running counter to the main current.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), eddied, eddying.
to move or whirl in eddies.
Origin of eddy
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; Old English ed- turning + ēa water; akin to Old Norse itha
Related forms
uneddied, adjective
uneddying, adjective


[ed-ee] /ˈɛd i/
Mary (Morse) Baker (Mrs. Glover; Mrs. Patterson) 1821–1910, U.S. founder of the Christian Science Church.
Also, Eddie. a male given name, form of Edgar or Edward. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for eddy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Every man swam towards a place where a small point of land caused a sort of eddy and checked the force of the undertow.

    Lost in the Forest R.M. Ballantyne
  • In the vortex of the eddy the delusion of the vast cone was more pronounced.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
  • As good fortune will have it, there is frequently an eddy or two at the foot of a rapid and into one of these she ran.

    The Romance of the Colorado River Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
  • With him we broke through the circle of steers forcing into the centre of the eddy.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
  • Yes, he could see the eddy where the child had sunk; and in another moment he had dived into the dark water.

    Wee Wifie Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • At half-past twelve Tom Clute was swept over the dam into the eddy.

    Blazed Trail Stories Stewart Edward White
  • He had passed the eddy, and the entrance of the cove was near.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman Albert Walter Tolman
  • eddy, isn't that the serenading fellow who goes on singing till they hang him?

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • It was while Mrs. Anderson was insisting and the girl protesting that Anderson, with eddy at his heels, had entered the room.

    The Debtor Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
British Dictionary definitions for eddy


noun (pl) -dies
a movement in a stream of air, water, or other fluid in which the current doubles back on itself causing a miniature whirlwind or whirlpool
a deviation from or disturbance in the main trend of thought, life, etc, esp one that is relatively unimportant
verb -dies, -dying, -died
to move or cause to move against the main current
Word Origin
C15: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse itha; related to Old English ed- again, back, Old High German it-


Mary Baker. 1821–1910, US religious leader; founder of the Christian Science movement (1866)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for eddy

mid-15c., Scottish ydy, possibly from Old Norse iða "whirlpool," from Proto-Germanic *ith- "a second time, again," which is related to the common Old English prefix ed- "again, backwards; repetition, turning" (forming such words as edðingung "reconciliation," edgift "restitution," edniwian "to renew, restore," edhwierfan "to retrace one's steps," edgeong "to become young again"). Cf. Old English edwielle "eddy, vortex, whirlpool." The prefix is cognate with Latin et, Old High German et-, Gothic "and, but, however." Related: Eddies.


1810, from eddy (n.). Related: Eddied; eddying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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eddy in Science
A current, as of water or air, moving in a direction that is different from that of the main current. Eddies generally involve circular motion; unstable patterns of eddies are often called turbulence. See also vortex.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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