AskDefine | Define whorl

The Collaborative Dictionary

Whorl \Whorl\, n. [OE. whorvil the whirl of a spindle; akin to AS. hweorfa the whirl of a spindle, hweorfan to turn; cf. OD. worvel the whirl of a spindle. See Whirl, n. & v.] [1913 Webster]
(Bot.) A circle of two or more leaves, flowers, or other organs, about the same part or joint of a stem. [1913 Webster]
(Zool.) A volution, or turn, of the spire of a univalve shell. [1913 Webster]
(Spinning) The fly of a spindle. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

whorl

Noun

1 a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles [syn: coil, roll, curl, curlicue, ringlet, gyre, scroll]
2 a strand or cluster of hair [syn: lock, curl, ringlet]
3 a structure consisting of something wound in a continuous series of loops; "a coil of rope" [syn: coil, spiral, volute, helix]

English

Pronunciation

  • , /wɜː(r)l/, /w3:(r)l/
  • , /ʍɜː(r)l/, /W3:(r)l/ (in Scottish English and some English accents)
Rhymes with: -ɜː(r)l

Homophones

Noun

  1. A pattern of concentric circles.
  2. A circle of two or more leaves, flowers, or other organs, about the same part or joint of a stem.
  3. A volution, or turn, of the spire of a univalve shell.
  4. A flywheel, a weight attached to a spindle, cf. 1460.

References

Whorl is a type of spiral pattern.
Other meanings of whorl include:
  • Whorl (mollusc), a single, complete 360° turn in the spiral growth of a mollusc shell
    • Body whorl, in a mollusc shell the most recently formed whorl of a spiral shell, terminating in the aperture
  • A whorl of sepals or petals or leaves on plants, in which all the parts are attached at the same point and surround or wrap around the stem.
  • In biology a whorl might occur at the ends of different structures or occur in the middle of structures. It's often used to describe the structures of organs and used in the aid of identification. It's a cluster of cells or tissue that surround another, that starts at the same plain of axis or starts at one point and wraps around that point in an expanding circular pattern.
  • A type of fingerprint pattern
  • A weight attached to a spindle
  • Doesn't apply to hair patterns
whorl in Portuguese: Verticilo
whorl in Simple English: Whorl
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