Definition of vortex in US English:

vortex

noun

  • A mass of whirling fluid or air, especially a whirlpool or whirlwind.

    ‘we were caught in a vortex of water’
    figurative ‘a swirling vortex of emotions’
    • ‘The resulting vector flow fields allow for the study of the distribution of velocity, vorticity and vortices.’
    • ‘Unlike wind tunnel test for airliners, there is no way to confirm exactly if or how vortices and shock waves form off of wing tips or other geometries.’
    • ‘As this material approaches the black hole, it swirls in a vortex, like water swirling down a drain.’
    • ‘Currents passing around the tops of seamounts also create eddies and other vortices that can catch, hold and concentrate small plants and animals-phytoplankton and zooplankton-in suspension near summits.’
    • ‘The counterclockwise winds around the vortex often push Arctic air south over the USA.’
    • ‘The denser sand on top sinks while light sand on the bottom rises, creating swirling vortices akin to the convection rolls that are common in gases heated from below.’
    • ‘The magnetic fields of these vortices cause them to repel one another just as like-oriented magnets do.’
    • ‘They save energy by slaloming back and forth between the vortices, or whirlpools.’
    • ‘The five to 12 separate finlets behind the anal and second dorsal fins may allow the tail to push against less turbulence by preventing vortices from forming in water flowing toward the tail.’
    • ‘Inside clouds tiny vortices created by the wind spin water-sodden dust particles into clusters, where they meld to form raindrops, say the authors.’
    • ‘Even though the flow of vortices is almost transparent, it should be possible in time, to measure the flow power, the direction and plane that they take as they spin and propel away from the swimmer's body.’
    • ‘These vortices however, are unstable masses of air that can cause lots of problems to fly in.’
    • ‘Dust devils are swirling vortexes that can tower several miles high and a quarter-mile (about a half a kilometer) wide at the base.’
    • ‘He studied the dynamics of viscous fluids and the theory of vortices with applications to aeronautics in mind.’
    • ‘A descent through your rotor wash creates swirling vortices that spoil lift, so the more power you add, the worse it gets, and the faster you fall.’
    • ‘The pressure of the water in these swirling vortices is lower than it is in the undisturbed fluid around the fish.’
    • ‘These grooves create microscopic vortices in the water next to the swimmer, thereby disturbing the flow of water along the body and reducing the surface friction drag.’
    whirlwind, whirlpool, gyre, maelstrom, eddy, swirl, swirling, countercurrent, counterflow
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century: from Latin vortex, vortic-, literally ‘eddy’, variant of vertex.

Pronunciation

vortex

/ˈvɔrˌtɛks//ˈvôrˌteks/