Dictionary.com

whorl

[ hwurl, hwawrl, wurl, wawrl ]
/ ʰwɜrl, ʰwɔrl, wɜrl, wɔrl /
Save This Word!

noun

a circular arrangement of like parts, as leaves or flowers, around a point on an axis; verticil.
one of the turns or volutions of a spiral shell.
anything shaped like a coil.
one of the central ridges of a fingerprint, forming at least one complete circle.
Textiles. a flywheel or pulley, as for a spindle.

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Origin of whorl

1425–75; late Middle English whorle, whorvil, wharwyl,Old English hwyrfel, equivalent to hweorfa whorl of a spindle + -el noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for whorl

British Dictionary definitions for whorl

whorl
/ (wɜːl) /

noun

botany a radial arrangement of three or more petals, stamens, leaves, etc, around a stem
zoology a single turn in a spiral shell
one of the basic patterns of the human fingerprint, formed by several complete circular ridges one inside anotherCompare arch 1 (def. 4b), loop 1 (def. 10a)
anything shaped like a coil

Derived forms of whorl

whorled, adjective

Word Origin for whorl

C15: probably variant of wherville whirl, influenced by Dutch worvel
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

Medical definitions for whorl

whorl
[ wôrl, wûrl ]

n.

A form that coils or spirals; a curl or swirl.
A turn of the cochlea or of the ethmoidal crest.
An area of hair growing in a radial manner.
One of the circular ridges or convolutions of a fingerprint.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for whorl

whorl
[ hwôrl, wôrl, hwûrl, wûrl ]

An arrangement of three or more appendages radiating in a circular or spiral arrangement from a point on a plant, as leaves around the node of a stem. The sepals, petals, stamens, and carpels of angiosperms form four separate whorls within a complete flower.
A single turn of a spiral shell of a mollusk.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Tired of Typos? Get Help Now!