noun, plural ed·dies.

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), ed·died, ed·dy·ing.

to move or whirl in eddies.

Origin of eddy

1425–75; late Middle English; Old English ed- turning + ēa water; akin to Old Norse itha
Related formsun·ed·died, adjectiveun·ed·dy·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for eddying

stream, swell, rise, flow, climb, grow, whirl, churn, boil, roil, twirl, twist, cut, spin, swing, pass, rotate, gyrate, swirl, pivot

Examples from the Web for eddying

Historical Examples of eddying

  • 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.

  • The eddying, swirling, hissing water was dragging at her feet.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for eddying


noun plural -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 or -died

to move or cause to move against the main current

Word Origin for eddy

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

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

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.