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See also: maelström and maëlstrom


Alternative forms[edit]


From obsolete Dutch maelstrom (modern Dutch maalstroom),[1] from malen (to whirl, grind) (from Proto-Germanic *malaną) and stroom (stream).[2] Compare German Mahlstrom, Danish malstrøm, both equally borrowed from Dutch.


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maelstrom (plural maelstroms)

  1. A large and violent whirlpool.
    • 2001Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl, p 212
      A hulking shape burst through the doorway and hurtled down the corridor, leaving a maelstrom of air currents in his wake.
  2. (figuratively) Any violent or turbulent situation.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 80:
      The terminal station, Richmond, is managed by South West Trains, heirs to the London & South Western Railway, and here the District fades into a railway maelstrom, since Richmond is not only on the Waterloo-Reading line but is also the westerly terminus of the London Overground.
    • 2019 May 5, Danette Chavez, “Campaigns are waged on and off the Game Of Thrones battlefield (newbies)”, in The A.V. Club[1]:
      Setting our sights back on King’s Landing, where the Last War will be waged, makes a lot of sense, even if it does feel a bit anticlimactic after last week’s deadly, blustery maelstrom.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maelstrom in the Merriam-Webster book of word histories
  2. ^ Maelstrom” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.