Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[hwurl-pool, wurl-] /ˈʰwɜrlˌpul, ˈwɜrl-/
water in swift, circular motion, as that produced by the meeting of opposing currents, often causing a downward spiraling action.
Heraldry. gurge (def 2).
late Old English
1520-30; whirl + pool1; compare late Old English hwyrfepōl Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for whirlpool
  • It is similar to how water current is pulled into a whirlpool.
  • The property is a full-service hotel with a fitness center, whirlpool and an indoor pool with a two-story water slide.
  • The bacteria were likely spread among players through shared towels, whirlpool baths, and weightlifting equipment.
  • Tolling church bells and dreamy panoramas from rooftop whirlpool, alfresco restaurant.
  • The world is a whirlpool of business, pleasure and sin.
  • The whirlpool will be silent, the training room unused.
  • Many of the city's downtown-area hotels do not have hot tubs or saunas but do feature in-room whirlpool tubs.
  • Some suites feature a whirlpool and a corner gas fireplace.
  • The hotel offers a lap pool, whirlpool and fitness center for guest use.
  • The whirlpool suites have a king-size bed and a whirlpool bath.
British Dictionary definitions for whirlpool


a powerful circular current or vortex of water, usually produced by conflicting tidal currents or by eddying at the foot of a waterfall
something resembling a whirlpool in motion or the power to attract into its vortex
short for whirlpool bath
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 whirlpool

1520s, from whirl (v.) + pool (n.1). Old English had hwyrfepol and wirfelmere.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
whirlpool in Science
A rapidly rotating current of water or other liquid that sucks everything near it toward its center. The meeting of two tides can create a whirlpool.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for whirlpool

whip the dog

verb phrase

fuck the dog (1950s+ Nautical)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for whirlpool

rotary oceanic current, a large-scale eddy that is produced by the interaction of rising and falling tides. Similar currents that exhibit a central downdraft are termed vortexes and occur where coastal and bottom configurations provide narrow passages of considerable depth. Slightly different is vortex motion in streams; at certain stages of turbulent flow, rotating currents with central updrafts are formed. These are called kolks, or boils, and are readily visible on the surface

Learn more about whirlpool with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for whirlpool

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for whirlpool

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with whirlpool

Nearby words for whirlpool