follow Dictionary.com

How Well Do You Know English Slang?

vortex

[vawr-teks] /ˈvɔr tɛks/
noun, plural vortexes, vortices
[vawr-tuh-seez] /ˈvɔr təˌsiz/ (Show IPA)
1.
a whirling mass of water, especially one in which a force of suction operates, as a whirlpool.
2.
a whirling mass of air, especially one in the form of a visible column or spiral, as a tornado.
3.
a whirling mass of fire, flame, etc.
4.
a state of affairs likened to a whirlpool for violent activity, irresistible force, etc.
5.
something regarded as drawing into its powerful current everything that surrounds it:
the vortex of war.
6.
(in Cartesian philosophy) a rapid rotatory movement of cosmic matter about a center, regarded as accounting for the origin or phenomena of bodies or systems of bodies in space.
Origin
1645-1655
1645-55; < Latin, variant of vertex vertex
Can be confused
vertex, vortex.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for vortex
  • Whether their motives are missionary or mercenary, all are ultimately sucked into the vortex of an epic-and tragic-struggle.
  • We have found the vortex to generate double-spiral waves.
  • The tornado centrifuge works on the same principle as the vortex vacuum cleaners.
  • Imagine an electromagnetic fluid vortex spinning at supersonic velocity.
  • Imagine a quantum fluid vortex spinning above light velocity.
  • From this date the scanty memorials of private life are altogether swallowed up in the vortex of public affairs.
  • The financial sector was swept into the vortex of declining farm incomes.
  • The liquid is spun to create a vortex inside the sphere that forms a vertical cavity in the middle.
  • Even then he is nothing if he has not conquered fear, for he lives in a vortex of violence in the world's fastest team sport.
  • Dolphins and gannets blast through a shimmering, pulsing vortex of fish in these up-close glimpses of an underwater buffet.
British Dictionary definitions for vortex

vortex

/ˈvɔːtɛks/
noun (pl) -texes, -tices (-tɪˌsiːz)
1.
a whirling mass or rotary motion in a liquid, gas, flame, etc, such as the spiralling movement of water around a whirlpool
2.
any activity, situation, or way of life regarded as irresistibly engulfing
Derived Forms
vortical, adjective
vortically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: a whirlpool; variant of vertex
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for vortex
n.

1650s, "whirlpool, eddying mass," from Latin vortex, variant of vertex "an eddy of water, wind, or flame; whirlpool; whirlwind," from stem of vertere "to turn" (see versus). Plural form is vortices. Became prominent in 17c. theories of astrophysics (by Descartes, etc.). In reference to human affairs, it is attested from 1761. Vorticism as a movement in British arts and literature is attested from 1914, coined by Ezra Pound.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
vortex in Medicine

vortex vor·tex (vôr'těks')
n. pl. vor·tex·es or vor·ti·ces (-tĭ-sēz')
A spiral motion of fluid within a limited area, especially a whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it toward its center.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
vortex in Science
vortex
  (vôr'těks')   
Plural vortexes or vortices (vôr'tĭ-sēz')
A circular, spiral, or helical motion in a fluid (such as a gas) or the fluid in such a motion. A vortex often forms around areas of low pressure and attracts the fluid (and the objects moving within it) toward its center. Tornados are examples of vortexes; vortexes that form around flying objects are a source of turbulence and drag. See also eddy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for vortex

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for vortex

16
17
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with vortex