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gyre

[jahyuh r]
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noun
  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.
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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

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British Dictionary definitions for gyre

gyre

noun
  1. a circular or spiral movement or path
  2. a ring, circle, or spiral
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verb
  1. (intr) to whirl
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Word Origin

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

n.

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").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gyre in Science

gyre

[jīr]
  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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.