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vortex (n.)

1650s, "whirlpool, eddying mass," from Latin vortex, variant of vertex "an eddy of water, wind, or flame; whirlpool; whirlwind," from stem of vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Plural form is vortices. Became prominent in 17c. theories of astrophysics (by Descartes, etc.). In reference to human affairs, it is attested from 1761. Vorticism as a movement in British arts and literature is attested from 1914, coined by Ezra Pound. Related: Vortical; vorticist.

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Definitions of vortex from WordNet

vortex (n.)
the shape of something rotating rapidly;
Synonyms: whirl / swirl / convolution
vortex (n.)
a powerful circular current of water (usually the result of conflicting tides);
Synonyms: whirlpool / maelstrom
From wordnet.princeton.edu