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volute

[vuh-loot]
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noun
  1. a spiral or twisted formation or object.
  2. Architecture. a spiral ornament, found especially in the capitals of the Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite orders.
  3. Carpentry. a horizontal scrolled termination to the handrail of a stair.
  4. Zoology.
    1. a turn or whorl of a spiral shell.
    2. any of various tropical marine gastropods of the family Volutidae, many species of which have shells prized for their coloration.
  5. the spiral casing surrounding the impeller of a volute pump.
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adjective
  1. having a volute or rolled-up form.
  2. Machinery.
    1. spirally shaped or having a part so shaped.
    2. moving in a circular way, especially if combined with a lateral motion.
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Origin of volute

1690–1700; (< F) < Latin volūta, feminine of volūtus, past participle of volvere to turn. See revolve
Related formsvo·lut·ed, adjectivevo·lu·tion, nounin·ter·vo·lute, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

streamer, wheel, shell, cylinder, ball, convolution, bobbin, spiral, spool, fold, cone, whorl, coil, barrel, reel, scroll, cornucopia, cartouche, trundle, volute

Examples from the Web for volutes

Historical Examples

  • It appears in Polynesian tattooing, this love of spirals and volutes.

    Magic and Religion

    Andrew Lang

  • The difficult transition from the end of the shaft to the volutes was evaded, and masked by anthemions or other ornaments.

    History of Ancient Art

    Franz von Reber

  • The faces of the volutes must recede from the edge of the abacus inwards by one and a half eighteenths of that same amount.

  • There seems to have been no distinction in the direction of the volutes, they turning indifferently to the right or to the left.

    The Swastika

    Thomas Wilson

  • Aplustre, ap-lus′tėr, n. the ornament rising above the stern of ancient ships, often a sheaf of volutes.


British Dictionary definitions for volutes

volute

noun
  1. a spiral or twisting turn, form, or object; spiral; whorl
  2. Also called: helix a carved ornament, esp as used on an Ionic capital, that has the form of a spiral scroll
  3. any of the whorls of the spirally coiled shell of a snail or similar gastropod mollusc
  4. any tropical marine gastropod mollusc of the family Volutidae, typically having a spiral shell with beautiful markings
  5. a tangential part, resembling the volute of a snail's shell, that collects the fluids emerging from the periphery of a turbine, impeller pump, etc
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adjective also: voluted (vəˈluːtɪd)
  1. having the form of a volute; spiral
  2. machinery moving in a spiral path
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin volūta a spiral decoration, from volūtus rolled, from volvere to roll up
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 volutes

volute

n.

1690s, "spiral ornament on an Ionic capital," from French volute, from Italian voluta, from Latin voluta "a spiral scroll," originally fem. past participle of volvere "to turn around, roll" (see volvox). Extended 1756 to any spiral thing or part. As a type of spiral seashell, it is attested from 1753.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

volutes in Medicine

volute

(və-lōōt)
adj.
  1. Rolled up; convoluted.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.