Definition of eddy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛdi/

noun (plural eddies)

1A circular movement of water causing a small whirlpool: the current was forming foam-lipped eddies along the bank eddies of controversy swirled around his theories
More example sentences
  • A strong flow in the middle of the channel breaks into whirlpools and back eddies along both sides.
  • Along the bank I discovered quiet little eddies, water trickling between the stones with overhanging Myrtles, the sun sparkling on a pool when it could squeeze through the branches and leaves.
  • 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.
1.1A circular movement of wind, fog, or smoke: an eddy of chill air swirled into the carriage
More example sentences
  • Tiny eddies of smoke escaped from the edges of the bark, then succumb to the heat of the flames.
  • Eventually we could smell it in the air and hear it trickling beneath the eddies of wind.
  • A street cleaner already cleans the main thoroughfares but wind eddies can blow drifts of crisp packets and chocolate wrappers into alleys and hedges, he said.

verb (eddies, eddying, eddied)

[no object, with adverbial of direction]
(Of water, air, or smoke) move in a circular way: the mists from the river eddied round the banks
More example sentences
  • Billowing clouds of steam and smoke drifted and eddied, obscuring then revealing the tormented reddish rock of the opposite wall.
  • He lit the tobacco in the pipe and blew a soft grey circle of smoke, which eddied and floated away on the currents of the wind like a bird taken to flight.
  • Snow fell, one tiny flake in every cubic metre of air, the beck ran clear but a foot or two across, dancing round the boulders, eddying at roots and skidding over smooth slabs of sandstone.
swirl, whirl, spiral, wind, churn, swish, circulate, revolve, spin, twist;
flow, ripple, stream, surge, seethe, billow, foam, froth, boil, ferment


Late Middle English: probably from the Germanic base of the Old English prefix ed- 'again, back'.

Words that rhyme with eddy

already, Eddie, Freddie, heady, neddy, oven-ready, ready, reddy, steady, teddy, thready

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: eddy

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