Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

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

maelstrom

noun
     
Related topics: Meteorology
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

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary