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Maelstrom

Updated: 4 days ago

Pronunciation: [ meyl-struhm ]


Definition: noun

1 : a large, powerful, or violent whirlpool

2 : a restless, disordered, or tumultuous state of affairs

Origin: Late 17th Cenury; Dutch


Etymology: from early modern Dutch (denoting a mythical whirlpool in the Arctic Ocean, west of Norway), from maalen ‘grind, whirl’ + stroom ‘stream’


Usage:

Synonyms:

  • tumult

  • whirlpool

  • vortex

  • eddy

  • swirl

  • pandemonium

  • turbulence

  • tumult

  • turmoil

  • uproar

  • commotion

  • disorder

Antonyms:

  • calm

  • order

  • method

  • system

  • harmony

  • peace

Example: The captain shrieked as he realized it was too late—he was headed into the maelstrom.

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