[hwurl-pool, wurl-]


water in swift, circular motion, as that produced by the meeting of opposing currents, often causing a downward spiraling action.
Heraldry. gurge(def 2).

Nearby words

  1. whirl,
  2. whirlabout,
  3. whirligig,
  4. whirligig beetle,
  5. whirling dervish,
  6. whirlpool bath,
  7. whirlwind,
  8. whirly,
  9. whirlybird,
  10. whirr

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

Examples from the Web for whirlpool

British Dictionary definitions for whirlpool



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

Science definitions for whirlpool



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.