[hwurl-pool, wurl-]
See more synonyms for whirlpool on Thesaurus.com

Origin of whirlpool

1520–30; whirl + pool1; compare late Old English hwyrfepōl
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for whirlpool

vortex, maelstrom, eddy, whirl, stir, undertow, undercurrent

Examples from the Web for whirlpool

Contemporary Examples of whirlpool

Historical Examples of whirlpool

  • It was quite dark, and round her swept as it were a whirlpool of snow.

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

  • Glenfaba may be dull, but you do well to keep out of the whirlpool of London for the present.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • They broke, and, as they did so, the boat shot forward into the whirlpool of froth.

    Cap'n Eri

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • But I was of no more than her own age, and I had not yet been drawn into that whirlpool.

  • He grew very weary of the giddy rout, standing in it like a rock in a whirlpool.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

British Dictionary definitions for whirlpool


  1. a powerful circular current or vortex of water, usually produced by conflicting tidal currents or by eddying at the foot of a waterfall
  2. something resembling a whirlpool in motion or the power to attract into its vortex
  3. short for whirlpool bath
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 whirlpool

1520s, from whirl (v.) + pool (n.1). Old English had hwyrfepol and wirfelmere.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

whirlpool in Science


  1. A rapidly rotating current of water or other liquid that sucks everything near it toward its center. The meeting of two tides can create a whirlpool.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.