a ring or circle.
a circular course or motion.
Oceanography. a ringlike system of ocean currents rotating clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

1560–70; < Latin gȳrus < Greek gŷros ring, circle

subgyre, noun
supergyre, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gyre (dʒaɪə)
1.  a circular or spiral movement or path
2.  a ring, circle, or spiral
3.  (intr) to whirl
[C16: from Latin gӯrus circle, from Greek guros]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1566, "a circular motion;" as a verb, "to turn round," c.1420; from L. gyrus "circle," from Gk. gyros "circle, ring," related to gyros "rounded," from PIE base *geu- "to bend, curve."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
gyre   (jīr)  Pronunciation Key 
A spiral oceanic surface current driven primarily by the global wind system and constrained by the continents surrounding the three ocean basins (Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian). Each ocean basin has a large gyre in the subtropical region, centered around 30° north and south latitude. Smaller gyres occur at 50° north latitude in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The direction of a gyre's rotation is determined by the prevailing winds in the region, with the large subtropical gyres rotating clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It was not swimming endlessly with the school in a clockwise gyre.
Wind and ocean currents sweep up this garbage and deposit it in this slow-moving gyre.
Steering her was futile, and the vessel slid slowly down the wall of the gyre.
Within the subtropical gyre, one sees a tongue of high-salinity water intruding from the outcrop line.
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Image for gyre
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