1. Botany a radial arrangement of three or more petals, stamens, leaves, etc., around a stem
2. Zoology a single turn in a spiral shell
3. one of the basic patterns of the human fingerprint, formed by several complete circular ridges one inside another
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
a weight attached to a spindle that stabilizes the spindle and enables it to rotate uniformly. Whorls have been known since the late Neolithic period. Originally they were made of clay, and later of stone. From the 11th to the 13th century, whorls made of pink slate were widely distributed in Rus’; they were made near Ovruch in Volyn’ region, where the only deposits of pink slate in Eastern Europe are found. Some slate whorls were inscribed with the names of their owners. The production of whorls in Ovruch ceased after the city’s destruction by the Tatars in the 13th century; as a result, clay whorls again became predominant in Rus’.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
An arrangement of several identical anatomical parts, such as petals, in a circle around the same point.
A fingerprint pattern in which at least two deltas are present with a recurve in front of each.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.