• synonyms


[jahyuh r]
See more synonyms for gyre on Thesaurus.com
  1. a ring or circle.
  2. a circular course or motion.
  3. Oceanography. a ringlike system of ocean currents rotating clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
Show More

Origin of gyre

1560–70; < Latin gȳrus < Greek gŷros ring, circle
Related formssub·gyre, nounsu·per·gyre, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gyre

globe, circus, crown, disk, enclosure, belt, bowl, meridian, horizon, circlet, hoop, aureole, compass, coil, lap, halo, cycle, circumference, band, bracelet

Examples from the Web for gyre

Contemporary Examples of gyre

Historical Examples of gyre

British Dictionary definitions for gyre


  1. a circular or spiral movement or path
  2. a ring, circle, or spiral
Show More
  1. (intr) to whirl
Show More

Word Origin for gyre

C16: from Latin gӯrus circle, from Greek guros
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 gyre


1560s, "a circular motion;" as a verb, "to turn round," early 15c.; from Latin gyrus "circle, circular course, round, ring," and its derived verb gyrare, from Greek gyros "circle, ring," related to gyrós "rounded," perhaps from PIE root *geu- "to bend, curve" (cf. Armenian kor "crooked," Lithuanian gurnas "hip, ankle, bone," Norwegian kaure "a curly lock of hair").

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gyre in Science


  1. A spiral oceanic surface current driven primarily by the global wind system and constrained by the continents surrounding the three ocean basins (Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian). Each ocean basin has a large gyre in the subtropical region, centered around 30° north and south latitude. Smaller gyres occur at 50° north latitude in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The direction of a gyre's rotation is determined by the prevailing winds in the region, with the large subtropical gyres rotating clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.