Definition of maelstrom in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmālˌsträm/ /ˈmeɪlˌstrɑm/ /ˈmālˌstrəm/ /ˈmeɪlˌstrəm/

See synonyms for maelstrom

Translate maelstrom into Spanish


  • 1A powerful whirlpool in the sea or a river.

    ‘Together they stood in the foretops and conned the ship in through the seething maelstrom of the equatorial current.’
    • ‘One lugworm and a thin strip of squid will not get very far in a seething maelstrom of a sea where the tide is screaming through and you have other anglers all around you.’
    • ‘He didn't fight, didn't even scream as the icy water flooded in and he was sucked down into the maelstrom.’
    • ‘He tosses it beyond a breaking wave, and it bobs and sinks in the maelstrom of receding water colliding with the next surge of the tide.’
    • ‘Situated off the north coast of Jura, it is one of the half-dozen biggest maelstroms in the world.’
    • ‘He got stuck in a maelstrom and lost his paddles.’
    • ‘He blithely sailed off into a maelstrom and delivered a steady performance as France's sailing stars faltered around him.’
    • ‘Ben plunged beneath the maelstrom and saved her.’
    • ‘Passing through it, we take a close look at the growth on the rocks and have a rest from the current that we know will soon turn this small channel into a maelstrom of undiveable water.’
    • ‘The Shade raised its arms and disappeared in a maelstrom of whirling water and howling wind.’
    • ‘We made a hasty exit back up to the beach and, before long, the water was once again a maelstrom of ever-widening rips, eddies and whirlpools.’
    • ‘Lydon as well was thrown backwards in the maelstrom.’
    • ‘The run is a maelstrom of huge waves and sharp pour-overs that sound like the afterburners of an F - 16.’
    whirlpool, vortex, eddy, swirl
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    1. 1.1A situation or state of confused movement or violent turmoil.
      ‘the train station was a maelstrom of crowds’
      • ‘My home usually seemed more like a maelstrom of chaos and disorder.’
      • ‘Now, astronomers have found further evidence that Centaurus A is a maelstrom of violence.’
      • ‘Different colors of mana spun and swirled in a maelstrom of colorful fury.’
      • ‘Pressure for something effective to be done has led to a maelstrom of conflicting reports that has spooked the international markets.’
      • ‘The men are angry and young, caught up in a maelstrom of emotions as they struggle to right a wrong, face down the established order and make their voices heard.’
      • ‘Harden's Krasner is a maelstrom of emotions, lurching from admiration of her husband to fierce rage at his drunken womanising.’
      • ‘It's just a maelstrom of shrieking children, crass commercialism, and ratcheting credit card debt.’
      • ‘Several Marines looked around at each other in confusion but no one let down their guard - this silence was even worse than a maelstrom of bullets.’
      • ‘A maelstrom of emotions crossed the boy's face: embarrassment, anger, frustration.’
      • ‘A maelstrom of questions churned his mind and he had no answers.’
      • ‘Austere and absorbing, Escape is a convincing descent into a maelstrom of anguish and, ultimately, deadly despair.’
      • ‘At this point many firms dissolve, sometime in a slow slide to failure, sometimes more dramatically in a maelstrom of big emotions and bad decisions.’
      • ‘The news sent many in the media into a maelstrom of unresolved questions.’
      • ‘His face was emotionless, but inside was a maelstrom of hurt, sadness, anger, and pain.’
      • ‘Her announcement early on that she is moving out sets off a maelstrom of change.’
      • ‘To drag an old friend and a new one into a maelstrom of complications was nearly unforgivable.’
      • ‘Well, it's nice to hear someone in the midst of the maelstrom confirm what we already know, that a cover-up is going on.’
      • ‘As an author of children's books, Haddon is particularly adept at writing about Jacob's reaction to the adult maelstrom that surrounds him.’
      • ‘I would have preferred to remain awake, staring at the ceiling, sweating it out, but no: back into the maelstrom.’
      • ‘In late January, he rejoiced amid the maelstrom which surrounds Super Bowl, inactive yet fully involved in the Bucs' charge to the sport's ultimate prize.’
      turbulence, tumult, turmoil, uproar, commotion, disorder, jumble, disarray, chaos, confusion, upheaval, seething mass, welter, pandemonium, bedlam, whirlwind, swirl
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Late 17th century from early modern Dutch (denoting a mythical whirlpool in the Arctic Ocean, west of Norway), from maalen ‘grind, whirl’ + stroom ‘stream’.