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An animation illustrating the gyration (sense 1) or rotation of the Earth.
In the above diagram, the disc on the right would exhibit gyration (sense 1.1) if it rotated around the vertical rod, as the rotation would be eccentric or off-centre.

From gyre (to spin around; to gyrate, to whirl; (rare) to make (something) spin or whirl around; to spin, to whirl) +‎ -ation (suffix indicating actions or processes).[1] Gyre is 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,[3] the present active infinitive of gȳrō (to turn in a circle, rotate; to circle or revolve around) (from gȳrus (circle; circular motion; circuit, course), from Ancient Greek γῦρος (gûros, a circle, a ring), from Proto-Indo-European *gew- (to bend; to curve)) + (suffix forming regular first-conjugation verbs).



gyration (countable and uncountable, plural gyrations)

  1. (also figuratively) The act of turning or whirling, especially around a fixed axis or centre; a circular or spiral motion; rotation.
    Synonyms: circumvolution, spinning, wheeling
    • 1646, Thomas Brovvne, “Of Bodies Electricall”, in Pseudodoxia Epidemica: [], London: [] T[homas] H[arper] for Edward Dod, [], OCLC 1008551266, 2nd book, page 80:
      Novv that the ayre impelled returnes unto its place in a gyration or vvhirling, is evident from the Atomes or moates in the Sun. For vvhen the Sunne ſo enters a hole or vvindovv, that by its illumination the Atomes or moates become perceptible, if then by our breath the ayre bee gently impelled, it may be perceived that they vvill circularly returne, and in a gyration unto their places againe.
    • 1661, Joseph Glanvill, chapter IX, in The Vanity of Dogmatizing: Or Confidence in Opinions. [], London: [] E. C. for Henry Eversden [], OCLC 801399482; reprinted in The Vanity of Dogmatizing [] (Series III: Philosophy; 6), New York, N.Y.: For the Facsimile Text Society by Columbia University Press, 1931, OCLC 603189094, pages 80–81:
      If Regularity and ſteddineſs accompany Velocity; the motion then leaves not the leaſt track in the ſenſitive. Thus a French Top, the common recreation of School-boys, throvvn from a cord vvhich vvas vvound about it, will ſtand as if it vvere fixt on the floor it lighted; and yet continue in its repeated Gyrations, vvhile the ſenſe diſcovers not the leaſt footſteps of that præcipitate Rotation.
    • 1704, I[saac] N[ewton], “[The First Book of Opticks. Part II.] Prop[osition] V. Theo[ry] IV. [Exper[iment] X.]”, in Opticks: Or, A Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. [], London: [] Sam[uel] Smith, and Benj[amin] Walford, printers to the Royal Society, [], OCLC 1118497469, page 104:
      If a burning Coal be nimbly moved round in a Circle vvith Gyrations continually repeated, the vvhole Circle vvill appear like fire; the reaſon of vvhich is, that the ſenſation of the Coal in the ſeveral places of that Circle remains impreſt on the Senſorium, until the Coal return again to the ſame place.
    • 1847, B[enjamin] Disraeli, chapter XIV, in Tancred: Or, The New Crusade. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], OCLC 1167471642, book II, page 291:
      His life was a gyration of energetic curiosity; an insatiable whirl of social celebrity.
    • 1881 March, “Snow Storm Gales”, in Symon’s Monthly Meteorological Magazine, volume XVI, number CLXXXII, London: Edward Stanford, [], OCLC 1013406766, page 59:
      If you question a seaman on the subject, whether mere coaster or circumnavigator, he will tell you that in a snow-storm, because of its constant eddyings and gyrations, frequent trimming of sails is more necessary than in any other gale, and that to steer a straight and steady course under such circumstances is for the time simply impossible.
      Quoting an article entitled “Nether-Lochaber” in The Inverness Courier (17 March 1881).
    • 1897, Ouida [pseudonym; Maria Louise Ramé], chapter XIV, in The Massarenes, New York, N.Y.: R. F. Fenno & Company []; London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., OCLC 1001566810, page 182:
      [A] long table of ebony and ivory was unceremoniously cleared of the various objects of art which had been placed on it, and the roulette-wheel was enthroned there instead by the hands of Lady Kenilworth herself, and the little ball was set off on its momentous gyrations.
    • 2003, Sheila Kinston Dean, chapter 16, in Full Circle, Boston, Mass.: Beatrice Joseph Publishing, →ISBN, page 186:
      He followed Neena out among the dancers and she immediately started doing this sexy gyration right up on him. Guy got into the mood and they danced until he saw the waitress bringing their drinks over.
    • 2016, How Ngean Lim, “Rhythmic Operations, Material Description, and Analysis in Dance”, in Thomas F. DeFrantz and ‎Philipa Rothfield, editors, Choreography and Corporeality: Relay in Motion (New World Choreographies), London: Palgrave Macmillan, DOI:10.1057/978-1-137-54653-1, →ISBN, page 108:
      The gyration of the hips, quick hand movements, the expressive face and the energetic runs are newly discovered movement qualities that extend beyond their classical repertoire of codified meanings, leading Belle and Kethya [dancers] to become more expressive in their improvisations.
    • 2021 July 23, Eric Lipton; Ephrat Livni, “Crypto nomads: Surfing the world for risk and profit”, in The New York Times[1], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, published 19 August 2021 (updated), ISSN 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363, archived from the original on 10 March 2022:
      Cryptocurrency – digital money not backed by any nation – is famous for its wild and frequent gyrations.
    1. (specifically, Euclidean geometry) A rotation around an axis which is not the centre of rotational symmetry; an eccentric or off-centre rotation.
  2. (conchology) One of the whorls of a spiral univalve shell.
  3. (neurology) The arrangement of convolutions of gyri in the cerebral cortex of the brain.

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  1. ^ gyration, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “gyration, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present; Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “gyration”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ ǧīren, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ Compare “gyre, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “gyre, v.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

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