n. pl. vor·tex·es or vor·ti·ces (-tĭ-sēz′)
1. A whirling mass of water or air that sucks everything near it toward its center.
2. A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it, and hence being inescapable or destructive: a vortex of political infighting; a vortex of despair.
[Latin vortex, vortic-, variant of vertex, from vertere, to turn; see wer-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)vortex
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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