🤩 Discover new information from across the web



This page has 8 definitions of gyre in English and Latin. Gyre is a noun and verb. Also define these 37 related words and terms: poetic, swirling, vortex, circular, spiral, motion, circle, describe, moving, body, revolution, turn, circuit, whirl, anatomy, zootomy, gyrus, fold, ridge, cerebral cortex, brain, oceanography, ocean current, cause, wind, move, manner, large-scale, observe, major, ocean, spin, around, gyrate, revolve, rotate, and make.



A gyre (sense 1.1) or whirlpool, one of the Naruto whirlpools regularly seen in the Naruto Strait, Japan.
A map showing the five major oceanwide gyres (sense 3); from left to right, they are the Indian Ocean, North Pacific and South Pacific, and North Atlantic and South Atlantic gyres.

Etymology 1

Borrowed from Latin gȳrus (circle; circular motion), from Ancient Greek γῦρος (gûros, circle; ring), from Proto-Indo-European *gew- (to bend; to curve). The English word is a doublet of gyro and gyrus.[1]


gyre (plural gyres)

  1. (chiefly literary, poetic)
    1. A swirling vortex.
    2. A circular or spiral motion; also, a circle described by a moving body; a revolution, a turn.
      Synonyms: circuit, whirl
    • Swirling definition
      that swirls
    • Spiral definition
      A curve that is the locus of a point that rotates about a fixed point while continuously increasing its distance from that point. (1 of 3 spiral definitions)
    • Turn definition
      To make a non-linear physical movement.
      1. Of a body, person, etc, to move around an axis through itself. (1 of 35 turn definitions)
  2. (anatomy, zootomy, archaic) Synonym of gyrus (a fold or ridge on the cerebral cortex of the brain)
    • Ridge definition
      The back of any animal; especially the upper or projecting part of the back of a quadruped. (1 of 9 ridge definitions)
    • Cerebral Cortex definition
      The grey, folded, outermost layer of the cerebrum that is responsible for higher brain processes such as sensation, voluntary muscle movement, thought, reasoning, and memory.
  3. (oceanography) An ocean current caused by wind which moves in a circular manner, especially one that is large-scale and observed in a major ocean.
Derived terms
Related terms

Etymology 2

From Late Middle English giren (to turn (something) away; to cause (something) to revolve or rotate; to travel in a circle),[2] from Old French girer (to turn), and directly from its etymon Latin gȳrāre, the present active infinitive of gȳrō (to turn in a circle, rotate; to circle or revolve around), from gȳrus (circle; circular motion) (see etymology 1)[3] + (suffix forming regular first-conjugation verbs).


gyre (third-person singular simple present gyres, present participle gyring, simple past and past participle gyred) (literary, poetic)

  1. (intransitive) To spin around; to gyrate, to whirl.
    Synonyms: revolve, rotate
    • Gyrate definition
      To revolve round a central point; to move spirally about an axis, as a tornado; to revolve.
  2. (transitive, rare) To make (something) spin or whirl around; to spin, to whirl.
Derived terms
  • gyring (adjective, noun)
  • gyringly


  1. ^ gyre, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “gyre, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ ǧīren, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ gyre, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “gyre, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further reading





  1. vocative singular of gȳrus