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vortex definition


This page has 7 definitions of vortex in English, French, and Latin. Vortex is a noun. Also define these 18 related words and terms: whirlwind, whirlpool, spiral, column, violent, chaotic, particle, subtle, matter, rotary, axis, sun, planet, Cartesian, theory, zoology, Turbellaria, and vertex.

See also: vórtex and vòrtex

English vortex definition


From Latin vortex.



vortex (plural vortexes or vortices)

  1. A whirlwind, whirlpool, or similarly moving matter in the form of a spiral or column.
    • 2013 March 1, Frank Fish, George Lauder, “Not Just Going with the Flow”, in American Scientist[1], volume 101, number 2, page 114:
      An extreme version of vorticity is a vortex. The vortex is a spinning, cyclonic mass of fluid, which can be observed in the rotation of water going down a drain, as well as in smoke rings, tornados and hurricanes.
    • 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)
  2. (figuratively) Anything that involves constant violent or chaotic activity around some centre.
    • 2004: the consumer vortex that is East Hampton — The New Yorker, 30 August 2004, p.38
  3. (figuratively) Anything that inevitably draws surrounding things into its current.
    • 1826, Mary Shelley, The Last Man, part 2, chapter 1
      In early youth, the living drama acted around me, drew my heart and soul into its vortex.
  4. (historical) A supposed collection of particles of very subtle matter, endowed with a rapid rotary motion around an axis which was also the axis of a sun or planet; part of a Cartesian theory accounting for the formation of the universe, and the movements of the bodies composing it.
    • Particle definition
      A very small piece of matter, a fragment; especially, the smallest possible part of something. (1 of 5 particle definitions)
    • Sun definition
      The star that the Earth revolves around and from which it receives light and warmth.
  5. (zoology) Any of numerous species of small Turbellaria belonging to Vortex and allied genera.

Derived terms

Related terms


See also


French vortex definition


From Latin vortex



vortex m (uncountable)

  1. vortex

Latin vortex definition



vortex m (genitive vorticis); third declension

  1. Archaic form of vertex.


Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative vortex vorticēs
Genitive vorticis vorticum
Dative vorticī vorticibus
Accusative vorticem vorticēs
Ablative vortice vorticibus
Vocative vortex vorticēs