- a small flywheel on a spindle, as for regulating the speed of a spinning wheel
- anything with a coiled or spiral appearance; specif.,
- any of the circular ridges that form the design of a fingerprint
- Bot. a circular growth of leaves, petals, etc. about the same point on a stem
- Zool. any of the turns in a spiral shell
Origin of whorlMiddle English whorwyl, dialect, dialectal variant, variety of wherwille, whirl
- A form that coils or spirals; a curl or swirl: spread the icing in peaks and whorls.
- Botany An arrangement of three or more leaves, petals, or other organs arising from a single node.
- Zoology A single turn or volution of a spiral shell.
- One of the circular ridges or convolutions of a fingerprint.
- a. A small pulley that regulates the speed of the bobbin of a spinning wheel.b. A small flywheel that regulates the speed of a hand-operated spindle.
Origin of whorlMiddle English whorle alteration of whirle whirl from whirlen to whirl ; see whirl.
whorls of leaves
(third-person singular simple present whorls, present participle whorling, simple past and past participle whorled)
- (intransitive) To form a pattern of concentric circles.