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maelstrom (noun) situation of confusing emotions and events causing a lot of worry and fear; whirlpool.

An emotional situation or a situation of confusing events that causes great worry and fear is a maelstrom. A number of landlords in Russia were caught in the maelstrom of socialist reforms of the early twentieth century. They were afraid of losing not only their properties but also their lives. Even the good wealthy feared for their lives. Caught in the maelstrom, the confusing and emotional situation of wars a number of Europeans were afraid of their future. A maelstrom is a whirlpool or an eddy, that is, a strong current of water moving in circles and sucking up everything falling in it.

  • She was caught in the maelstrom of emotions when her husband, long thought dead, suddenly turned up alive on the day of her wedding with another man. Imagine her confused state of mind and fear!
  • Sucked up in the maelstrom of the horrible end of World War II for it, Japan recovered remarkably in a relatively short period to rise to the position of a global industrial giant.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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