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Word of the Day
Monday, April 21, 2003

Definitions for maelstrom

  1. A large, powerful, or destructive whirlpool.
  2. Something resembling a maelstrom; a violent, disordered, or turbulent state of affairs.

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Citations for maelstrom
The murk became thicker as Zachareesi fishtailed his canoe through a swirling maelstrom of currents pouring past, and over, unseen rocks. Farley Mowat, The Farfarers
Suddenly, the Serb cause was thrust into the maelstrom of the Napoleonic Wars. Misha Glenny, The Balkans
Origin of maelstrom
early Dutch
Maelstrom comes from obsolete Dutch maelstroom, from malen, "to grind, hence to whirl round," + stroom, "stream."