Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: METEOROLOGY

Date: 1600-1700
Origin: Early Dutch, from malen 'to break into powder' + strom 'stream'

maelstrom

noun
     
mael‧strom [countable]
1 a confusing situation full of events or strong emotions that is difficult to understand or deal with [= whirlpool]
maelstrom of
a maelstrom of conflicting emotions
2HEM dust or water that moves very quickly in circles:
A spinning maelstrom of rain swept around the mountain.
3 a violent storm
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