from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. 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.
- n. A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it: "As happened with so many theater actors, he was swept up in the vortex of Hollywood” ( New York Times).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A whirlwind, whirlpool, or similarly moving matter in the form of a spiral or column.
- n. Anything that involves constant violent or chaotic activity around some centre.
- n. Anything which inevitably draws surrounding things into its current.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
- n. 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.
- n. Any one of numerous species of small Turbellaria belonging to Vortex and allied genera. See Illustration in Appendix.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A whirl of fluid.
- n. Any whirling or gyratory motion; also, a whirlpool.
- n. 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.
- n. [capitalized] [NL.] In zoology, the typical genus of Vorticidæ, containing such species as V. viridis
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a powerful circular current of water (usually the result of conflicting tides)
- n. the shape of something rotating rapidly
Latin vortex, vortic-, variant of vertex, from vertere, to turn; see wer-2 in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)