Meaning of gyre in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdʒʌɪə/


[no object] literary
  • Whirl or gyrate.

    ‘a swarm of ghosts gyred around him’
    • ‘The serpents intertwined, gyring, intertwining and weaved around one another, racing towards her.’
    • ‘The current is not, however, continuous around Antarctica and it is absorbed in the two large gyre systems of the Weddell Sea and the Ross Sea.’
    • ‘Another no-mates, quarantined island where they gyre and gambol long and hard and in public.’
    • ‘Moreover, there was an inspiring chasm between the knowledge that factories and towns lay only a little beyond sight, and the bleak feeling that the primeval cold and the gyring of the snow flakes had wiped away all civilization.’
    • ‘In contrast, resuspension of ephippia was inversely related to water column depth and spatially complex, influenced by waves, coastal currents, and offshore gyre circulation.’


  • 1A spiral or vortex.

    ‘The two source waters of the cold fresh Arctic water and the warm salty Atlantic water form a cyclonic gyre which is closed in its southern section at approximately 72°N by the eastward-flowing current.’
    • ‘Rivers of plastic objects are carried by great ocean currents from North America, Japan, and other lands along the North Pacific rim into the gyre.’
    • ‘I've been turning and turning in the widening gyre.’
    • ‘Talk about turning and turning in the widening gyre, I looked up the quotation above, and what do I get?’
    • ‘The second turning of the gyre came, literally, out of the blue.’
    1. 1.1Geography A circular pattern of currents in an ocean basin.
      ‘the central North Pacific gyre’
      • ‘These currents flow in large rotating loops called gyres.’
      • ‘The August data support the results of earlier investigations that suggested that dynamic forcing by a basinwide gyre is responsible for the upwelling in the open water.’
      • ‘Zones of minimum upwelling and, therefore, productivity, occur in the central regions of the oceans known as the gyres.’
      • ‘During icehouse periods the distribution of continents inhibited circum-equatorial circulation forcing faster oceanic circulation in the main ocean gyres.’
      • ‘Worse, as the streams bend to equalize pressure behind the foil, and may set up a turbulent gyre further slowing the foil by induced drag.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘whirl someone or something round’): from late Latin gyrare, from Latin gyrus ‘a ring’, from Greek guros. The noun is from Latin gyrus.