American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


VOR'TEX, noun plural vortices or vortexes. [Latin from verto.]

1. A whirlpool; a whirling or circular motion of water, forming a kind of cavity in the center of the circle, and in some instances, drawing in water or absorbing other things.

2. A whirling of the air; a whirlwind.

3. In the Cartesian system, the circular motion originally impressed on the particles of matter, carrying them around their own axes, and around a common center. By means of these vortices. Descartes attempted to account for the formation of the universe.