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[hwurl-pool, wurl-] /ˈʰwɜrlˌpul, ˈwɜrl-/
water in swift, circular motion, as that produced by the meeting of opposing currents, often causing a downward spiraling action.
Heraldry. gurge (def 2).
Origin of whirlpool
late Old English
1520-30; whirl + pool1; compare late Old English hwyrfepōl Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for whirlpool
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was quite dark, and round her swept as it were a whirlpool of snow.

    Heather and Snow George MacDonald
  • Glenfaba may be dull, but you do well to keep out of the whirlpool of London for the present.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • They broke, and, as they did so, the boat shot forward into the whirlpool of froth.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • But I was of no more than her own age, and I had not yet been drawn into that whirlpool.

  • He grew very weary of the giddy rout, standing in it like a rock in a whirlpool.

    Dr. Sevier George W. Cable
  • That he, too, should be drawn into the whirlpool and sucked down and destroyed!

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • Funny, isn't it, how all Europe is falling into the whirlpool of war?

  • You cannot fit these slow, quiet natures into the city's whirlpool.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock
British Dictionary definitions for whirlpool


a powerful circular current or vortex of water, usually produced by conflicting tidal currents or by eddying at the foot of a waterfall
something resembling a whirlpool in motion or the power to attract into its vortex
short for whirlpool bath
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 whirlpool

1520s, from whirl (v.) + pool (n.1). Old English had hwyrfepol and wirfelmere.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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whirlpool in Science
A rapidly rotating current of water or other liquid that sucks everything near it toward its center. The meeting of two tides can create a whirlpool.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for whirlpool



(also whirlpooling) A rowdy boys' prank of surrounding a girl in a swimming pool and roiling the water while chanting rap lyrics •The game has often led to sexual violence against the trapped girl (1980s+ Teenagers)


To dispose of someone or something as if by tossing into a whirlpool: What music was Bill Clinton listening to when he whirlpooled Lani Guinier? (1990s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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