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[ed-ee] /ˈɛd i/
noun, plural eddies.
a current at variance with the main current in a stream of liquid or gas, especially one having a rotary or whirling motion.
a small whirlpool.
any similar current, as of air, dust, or fog.
a current or trend, as of opinion or events, running counter to the main current.
verb (used with or without object), eddied, eddying.
to move or whirl in eddies.
Origin of eddy
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; Old English ed- turning + ēa water; akin to Old Norse itha
Related forms
uneddied, adjective
uneddying, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for eddying
Historical Examples
  • A moment more and we are in the midst of the eddying, rushing, foaming rapids.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • My gaze was bewildered by the endless, eddying stream of birds.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • The eddying, swirling, hissing water was dragging at her feet.

    Frank Merriwell's Pursuit Burt L. Standish
  • It was no longer stagnant now, but seething and eddying like a whirlpool.

    The Romance of Golden Star ...

    George Chetwynd Griffith
  • All without and within the man was eddying, swirling blackness.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • In the court the wind was eddying, and beneath some door he could hear it drone insistently.

    Simon J. Storer Clouston
  • The night wind burst in, eddying, and puffed out the lamp with a breath.

    Americans All Various
  • The pool is formed by the eddying of the stream round a rock.

  • I could only hope that it would not turn over in the eddying waters.

    On the Banks of the Amazon W.H.G. Kingston
  • But sharks and porpoises are too small to have made this eddying.

    Creatures of the Abyss Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for eddying


noun (pl) -dies
a movement in a stream of air, water, or other fluid in which the current doubles back on itself causing a miniature whirlwind or whirlpool
a deviation from or disturbance in the main trend of thought, life, etc, esp one that is relatively unimportant
verb -dies, -dying, -died
to move or cause to move against the main current
Word Origin
C15: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse itha; related to Old English ed- again, back, Old High German it-


Mary Baker. 1821–1910, US religious leader; founder of the Christian Science movement (1866)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for eddying



1810, from eddy (n.). Related: Eddied; eddying.



mid-15c., Scottish ydy, possibly from Old Norse iða "whirlpool," from Proto-Germanic *ith- "a second time, again," which is related to the common Old English prefix ed- "again, backwards; repetition, turning" (forming such words as edðingung "reconciliation," edgift "restitution," edniwian "to renew, restore," edhwierfan "to retrace one's steps," edgeong "to become young again"). Cf. Old English edwielle "eddy, vortex, whirlpool." The prefix is cognate with Latin et, Old High German et-, Gothic "and, but, however." Related: Eddies.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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eddying in Science
A current, as of water or air, moving in a direction that is different from that of the main current. Eddies generally involve circular motion; unstable patterns of eddies are often called turbulence. See also vortex.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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