- a circular arrangement of like parts, as leaves or flowers, around a point on an axis; verticil.
- one of the turns or volutions of a spiral shell.
- anything shaped like a coil.
- one of the central ridges of a fingerprint, forming at least one complete circle.
- Textiles. a flywheel or pulley, as for a spindle.
Origin of whorl
Examples from the Web for whorl
How old is the very top, down to the first whorl of branches?Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study
Ontario Ministry of Education
The great nebula in Orion was a whorl of shimmering star dust.The Octopus
Let us suppose a whorl of eight leaves, surmounted by a similar whorl of eight.Vegetable Teratology
Maxwell T. Masters
The spore-clusters, at the tips of the branches, are surrounded by a whorl of branchlets.The Sea Shore
William S. Furneaux
But he saw a glimmer in a whorl of darkness, like a ball of living fire.The Hour of the Dragon
Robert E. Howard
- botany a radial arrangement of three or more petals, stamens, leaves, etc, around a stem
- zoology a single turn in a spiral shell
- one of the basic patterns of the human fingerprint, formed by several complete circular ridges one inside anotherCompare arch 1 (def. 4b), loop 1 (def. 10a)
- anything shaped like a coil
Word Origin and History for whorl
mid-15c., "flywheel or pulley on a spindle," perhaps an alteration of whirl. Meaning "circle of leaves or flowers round a stem of a plant" is first recorded 1550s. Of seashells or other spiral structures, from 1828.
- A form that coils or spirals; a curl or swirl.
- A turn of the cochlea or of the ethmoidal crest.
- An area of hair growing in a radial manner.
- One of the circular ridges or convolutions of a fingerprint.
- An arrangement of three or more appendages radiating in a circular or spiral arrangement from a point on a plant, as leaves around the node of a stem. The sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels of angiosperms form four separate whorls within a complete flower.
- A single turn of a spiral shell of a mollusk.