- a plural of vortex.
- a whirling mass of water, especially one in which a force of suction operates, as a whirlpool.
- a whirling mass of air, especially one in the form of a visible column or spiral, as a tornado.See also polar vortex.
- a whirling mass of fire, flame, etc.
- a state of affairs likened to a whirlpool for violent activity, irresistible force, etc.
- something regarded as drawing into its powerful current everything that surrounds it: the vortex of war.
- (in Cartesian philosophy) a rapid rotatory movement of cosmic matter about a center, regarded as accounting for the origin or phenomena of bodies or systems of bodies in space.
Origin of vortex
Examples from the Web for vortices
Fifty-eight of those atrocious Dilipic vortices had been driven to ground.The Galaxy Primes
Edward Elmer Smith
"Phlogiston" and "vortices" had their day and are forgotten.Folkways
William Graham Sumner
Vortices may be called an occult quality, because their existence was never proved.Letters on England
The vortices, as Descartes imagined them, are not now believed in.
Possibly, gravity does part of the work, and the vortices of Descartes interfere with it.
- a whirling mass or rotary motion in a liquid, gas, flame, etc, such as the spiralling movement of water around a whirlpool
- any activity, situation, or way of life regarded as irresistibly engulfing
Word Origin and History for vortices
1650s, "whirlpool, eddying mass," from Latin vortex, variant of vertex "an eddy of water, wind, or flame; whirlpool; whirlwind," from stem of vertere "to turn" (see versus). Plural form is vortices. Became prominent in 17c. theories of astrophysics (by Descartes, etc.). In reference to human affairs, it is attested from 1761. Vorticism as a movement in British arts and literature is attested from 1914, coined by Ezra Pound.
- A spiral motion of fluid within a limited area, especially a whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it toward its center.
- A circular, spiral, or helical motion in a fluid (such as a gas) or the fluid in such a motion. A vortex often forms around areas of low pressure and attracts the fluid (and the objects moving within it) toward its center. Tornados are examples of vortexes; vortexes that form around flying objects are a source of turbulence and drag. See also eddy.