whorl (wôrl, hwôrl, wûrl, hwûrl)
1. A form that coils or spirals; a curl or swirl: spread the icing in peaks and whorls.
2. Botany An arrangement of three or more leaves, petals, or other organs arising from a single node.
3. Zoology A single turn or volution of a spiral shell.
4. One of the circular ridges or convolutions of a fingerprint.
a. A small pulley that regulates the speed of the bobbin of a spinning wheel.
b. A small flywheel that regulates the speed of a hand-operated spindle.
[Middle English whorle, alteration of whirle, whirl, from whirlen, to whirl; see WHIRL.]
(click for a larger image)whorl
whorls of leaves
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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