vortex

[vawr-teks]
noun, plural vortexes, vortices [vawr-tuh-seez] .
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:
1645–55; < Latin, variant of vertex vertex

vertex, vortex.
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World English Dictionary
vortex (ˈvɔːtɛks)
 
n , pl -texes, -tices
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
 
[C17: from Latin: a whirlpool; variant of vertex]
 
vortical
 
adj
 
'vortically
 
adv

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

vortex
1652, "whirlpool, eddying mass," from L. 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 ref.
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
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
vortex   (vôr'těks')  Pronunciation Key 
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.
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Example sentences
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.
Image for vortex
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