• A whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it toward its center.
  • A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it, and hence being inescapable or destructive.
  • A whirl of fluid.
  • Any whirling or gyratory motion; also, a whirlpool.
  • In the Cartesian philosophy, a collection of material particles, forming a fluid or ether, endowed with a rapid rotatory motion about an axis, and filling all space, by which Descartes accounted for the motions of the universe. This theory attracted much attention at one time, but is now entirely discredited.
  • [<em>capitalized</em>] [NL.] In <em>zoology</em>, the typical genus of <em>Vorticidæ</em>, containing such species as <em>V. viridis</em>
  • A mass of fluid, especially of a liquid, having a whirling or circular motion tending to form a cavity or vacuum in the center of the circle, and to draw in towards the center bodies subject to its action; the form assumed by a fluid in such motion; a whirlpool; an eddy.
  • A supposed collection of particles of very subtile matter, endowed with a rapid rotary motion around an axis which was also the axis of a sun or a planet. Descartes attempted to account for the formation of the universe, and the movements of the bodies composing it, by a theory of vortices.
  • Any one of numerous species of small Turbellaria belonging to Vortex and allied genera. See <ex>Illustration</ex> in Appendix.
  • a hypothetical ring-shaped mass of elementary matter in continuous vortical motion. It was conveniently regarded in certain early mathematical models as the typical form and structure of the chemical atom, but is no longer considered a useful model, having been superseded by quantum mechanics.
  • a kind of turbine.
  • A <xref>whirlwind</xref>, <xref>whirlpool</xref>, or similarly moving matter in the form of a <xref>spiral</xref> or <xref>column</xref>.
  • Anything that involves constant <xref>violent</xref> or <xref>chaotic</xref> activity around some centre.
  • Anything which inevitably draws surrounding things into its current.
  • a powerful circular current of water (usually the result of conflicting tides)
  • the shape of something rotating rapidly
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