Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- 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”, American Scientist, 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.
- (figuratively) Anything that involves constant violent or chaotic activity around some centre.
- (figuratively) Anything that inevitably draws surrounding things into its current.
- (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.
- (zoology) Any of numerous species of small Turbellaria belonging to Vortex and allied genera.
2004: the consumer vortex that is East Hampton — The New Yorker, 30 August 2004, p.38
anything involving violent or chaotic activity around some centre
anything which draws surrounding things
- vortex in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- vortex in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- “vortex” in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879.