To save this word, you'll need to log in. Maelstrom comes from an early Dutch proper noun that literally meant "turning stream. The word became popularized in the general vocabulary of English in reference to a powerful whirlpool, or something akin to one, in the 19th century. This was partly due to its use by writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne whose writing was widely translated from French in stories exaggerating the tempestuousness of the Norwegian current and transforming it into a whirling vortex. Examples of maelstrom in a Sentence She was caught in a maelstrom of emotions. The ship was drawn into the maelstrom. Recent Examples on the Web In short, recent years have been a dark maelstrom , a Hieronymus Bosch hellscape, in which, under the guise of the pursuit of pleasure, individuals are tortured, dehumanized, discarded, destroyed. Betsy DeVos made it political. Send us feedback. Sign Up Dictionary Entries near maelstrom Maecenasship Maecenatism maegbote maelstrom Maelzel's metronome maen maenad.
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Maelstrom , Norwegian Moskenstraumen or Moskstraumen , marine channel and strong tidal current of the Norwegian Sea , in the Lofoten islands, northern Norway. About 5 miles 8 km wide, alternating in flow between the open sea on the west and Vest Fjord on the east, the current may reach a speed of 7 miles 11 km per hour with the changing of the tides, but the sea becomes calm in the moments when the tide switches direction. Strong local winds make the passage additionally dangerous. The word maelstrom entered the English language via the fiction of the French novelist Jules Verne and the American short-story writer Edgar Allan Poe , who exaggerated the current of the channel into a great whirlpool; the word in English designates a large, fatal whirlpool , engulfing vessels and men, or a figurative application of the idea. Article Media. Info Print Cite.
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