from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A circular or spiral motion or form, especially a circular ocean current.
  • intransitive verb To whirl.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To turn; gyrate; revolve.
  • To turn.
  • noun A circle or ring; a revolution of a moving body; a circular or spiral turn.
  • noun In anatomy, a gyrus: as, a cerebral gyre.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • verb obsolete To turn round; to gyrate.
  • noun A circular motion, or a circle described by a moving body; a turn or revolution; a circuit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a swirling vortex
  • noun a circular current, especially a large-scale ocean current
  • verb intransitive to whirl

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles (as formed by leaves or flower petals)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin gȳrus, from Greek gūros.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin gyrus, Ancient Greek γῦρος (gyros, "circle, ring, turning")


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  • turning and turning in the widening gyre

    December 14, 2006

  • A conversation with Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking-Glass:

    "And what's the gyre and to gimble?"

    "To gyre is to go round and round like a gyroscope. To gimble is to make holes like a gimlet."

    July 18, 2008

  • In environmental science, "any manner of particularly large-scale wind, swirling vortex and ocean currents. Gyres are caused by the Coriolis effect; planetary vorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction, which determine the circulation patterns from the wind curl (torque)." --Wikipedia

    June 4, 2009

  • great word, found on ruzuzu's favorite word. thx ruzuzu

    September 4, 2010

  • Thanks! That earlier comment by seanahan is the first line from the poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats--I learned the word gyre from that poem.

    September 4, 2010