whorl

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

whorl / (h)wôrl/ • n. a coil or ring, in particular: ∎  Zool. each of the turns or convolutions in the shell of a gastropod or ammonoid mollusk. ∎  Bot. a set of leaves, flowers, or branches springing from the stem at the same level and encircling it. ∎  Bot. (in a flower) each of the sets of organs, esp. the petals and sepals, arranged concentrically around the receptacle. ∎  a complete circle in a fingerprint. ∎  chiefly hist. a small wheel or pulley in a spinning wheel, spinning machine, or spindle. • v. [intr.] poetic/lit. spiral or move in a twisted and convoluted fashion: the dances are kinetic kaleidoscopes where steps whorl into wildness. DERIVATIVES: whorled adj.

views updated

whorl One of the coils in a molluscan shell. Whorls are most noticeable among Gastropoda and Cephalopoda, in which the shell is a hollow cone that grows only at the apertural end and tends to curl about its vertical axis. In most molluscs the coils form a helix in which each whorl is attached to the next, but in some the coiling is loose.

views updated

whorlbirl, burl, churl, curl, earl, Erle, furl, girl, herl, hurl, knurl, merle, pas seul, pearl, purl, Searle, skirl, squirl, swirl, twirl, whirl, whorl •salesgirl •ballgirl, call girl •cowgirl • showgirl • schoolgirl •choirgirl • weathergirl • Husserl

views updated

whorl small fly-wheel or pulley in a spinning machine XV; ring of leaves, etc. round a stem XVI. Earliest forms wharwyl, whorwhil; prob. vars. of wherwille, WHIRL.

views updated

whorl The arrangement in which leaves, petals, etc. all arise at the same point on an axis, encircling it.

views updated

whorl See COILING.