Definitions

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

  • noun A form that coils or spirals; a curl or swirl.
  • noun Botany An arrangement of three or more leaves, petals, or other organs arising from a single node.
  • noun Zoology A single turn or volution of a spiral shell.
  • noun One of the circular ridges or convolutions of a fingerprint.
  • noun Architecture An ornamental device, as in stonework or weaving, consisting of stylized vine leaves and tendrils.
  • noun A small pulley that regulates the speed of the bobbin of a spinning wheel.
  • noun A small flywheel that regulates the speed of a hand-operated spindle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In archaeology, one of certain round objects, sometimes slightly cup-shaped, which are frequently found in excavations.
  • noun In botany, a ring of organs all from the same node; a verticil.
  • noun In conchology, one of the turns of a spiral shell; a volution; a gyre.
  • noun In anatomy:
  • noun A volution or turn of the spiral cochlea of man or any mammal. See cut under ear.
  • noun A scroll or turn of a turbinate bone, as the ethmoturbinal or maxilloturbinal. See cut under nasal.
  • noun The fly of a spindle, generally made of wood, sometimes of hard stone, etc. Also thworl and pixy-wheel.

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

  • noun (Bot.) A circle of two or more leaves, flowers, or other organs, about the same part or joint of a stem.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A volution, or turn, of the spire of a univalve shell.
  • noun (Spinning) The fly of a spindle.

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

  • noun A pattern of concentric circles.
  • noun botany A circle of three or more leaves, flowers, or other organs, about the same part or joint of a stem.
  • noun zoology A volution, or turn, of the spire of a univalve shell.
  • noun archaic A flywheel, a weight attached to a spindle, compare 1460.
  • verb intransitive To form a pattern of concentric circles.

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)
  • noun a strand or cluster of hair
  • noun a structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops

Etymologies

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

[Middle English whorle, alteration of whirle, whirl, from whirlen, to whirl; see whirl.]

Examples

  • Lift up the two loops of the double-drive belt and put one loop over a bobbin whorl, and one loop over a flyer whorl.

    October 2006

  • Lift up the two loops of the double-drive belt and put one loop over a bobbin whorl, and one loop over a flyer whorl.

    Not your modern spinning wheel

  • There are many differences between their shells, but the most significant and the easily noticeable is the width of the body whorl, which is much larger relative to the width of the preceding whorl in H. aspersa than it is in E. vermiculata.

    How to tell Eobania vermiculata

  • There are many differences between their shells, but the most significant and the easily noticeable is the width of the body whorl, which is much larger relative to the width of the preceding whorl in H. aspersa than it is in E. vermiculata.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • It cannot be classified as a whorl as the only recurve is spoiled by the appendage abutting upon it at the point of contact with the line of flow.

    The Science of Fingerprints Classification and Uses

  • If the opposite finger were a whorl this would be classified as a whorl, and with the same tracing.

    The Science of Fingerprints Classification and Uses

  • Figure 305, although showing an appendage upon each recurve on the left side, is classified as a whorl of the central pocket loop type, with two deltas and a recurve in front of each.

    The Science of Fingerprints Classification and Uses

  • Figure 301 is classified as a whorl of the double loop type.

    The Science of Fingerprints Classification and Uses

  • As it has but one delta, it cannot be classified as a whorl of the double loop type nor as a loop since it would be difficult to make a preferential choice between the two looping ridges.

    The Science of Fingerprints Classification and Uses

  • It cannot be classified as a whorl of the double loop type because the formation above the lower loop is too pointed and it also has an appendage abutting upon it at a right angle.

    The Science of Fingerprints Classification and Uses

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