The definition of a maelstrom is a violent, turbulent situation, or a very powerful whirlpool.
An example of a maelstrom was the uprising in Egypt against the former leader, Hosni Mubarak.
- a famous strong, swirling tidal current off the W coast of Norway, hazardous to safe navigation
- any large or violent whirlpool
- a violently confused or dangerously agitated state of mind, emotion, affairs, etc.
Origin of Maelstrom17th-c. Dutch (now maalstroom) ; from malen, to grind, whirl round (akin to German mahlen: see mill) + stroom, a stream: first applied by 16th-c. Dutch geographers
- A violent or turbulent situation: caught in the maelstrom of war.
- A whirlpool of extraordinary size or violence.
Origin of maelstromObsolete Dutch : Dutch malen, to grind, whirl (from Middle Dutch; see mel&schwa;- in Indo-European roots) + Dutch stroom, stream (from Middle Dutch; see sreu- in Indo-European roots).