Definition of maelstrom in English:


Syllabification: mael·strom
Pronunciation: /ˈmālˌsträm
, ˈmālˌstrəm


1A powerful whirlpool in the sea or a river.
More example sentences
  • 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.
literary Charybdis
1.1A situation or state of confused movement or violent turmoil: the train station was a maelstrom of crowds
More example sentences
  • 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.


late 17th century: from early modern Dutch (denoting a mythical whirlpool supposed to exist in the Arctic Ocean, west of Norway), from maalen 'grind, whirl' + stroom 'stream'.

Definition of maelstrom in: