"move in a circle or spiral," 1763 (implied in gyrated), back-formation from gyration. Related: Gyrated; gyrating.
1660s, "heraldic spiral," from Latin gurges, literally "whirlpool," from PIE *gwrg-, reduplicated form of root *gwora- "food, devouring."
"spiral cavity of the inner ear of most vertebrate animals," 1680s, from Latin cochlea "snail shell," from Greek kokhlias "snail, screw," etc., from kokhlos "shell-fish with a spiral shell, sea-snail, land-snail," ("For the most part a generic word" — Thompson) which is perhaps related to konkhos "mussel, conch." Related: Cochlear.
word-forming element meaning "twisted, spiraled, whorled," from combining form of Latin spira "a coil, twist," from Greek speira (see spiral (adj.)).
proper name of a cross-slot screw and corresponding screwdriver, 1935, named for its inventor, U.S. businessman Henry F. Phillips (1890-1958) of Portland, Oregon. It was designed for car makers, hence the handyman's complaint that they are difficult to un-screw. Phillips lost the patent in 1949.
c. 1600, "a ringlet of hair;" by 1610s in reference to anything of similar spiral or undulating form; from curl (v.). Surfer slang for "curved top of a breaking wave" is by 1962.
mid-15c., "the small flywheel of a spindle," perhaps an alteration of whirl. Meaning "circlar arrangement of leaves or flowers round a stem of a plant" is first recorded 1550s. Of seashells or other spiral structures, from 1828. Related: Whorled.
in gun-making, "to cut spiral grooves in" (the bore of a gun barrel), 1630s, probably from French rifler, from Old French rifler "to scratch or groove" (see rifle (v.1)). Related: Rifled; rifling.