What does the word maelstrom mean?

Usage examples for maelstrom

  1. For at the moment a sucking maelstrom had caught her and whipped her out of his reach and flung her onward, for a little piling the churning water above her head. – Six Feet Four by Jackson Gregory
  2. His distorted imagination flung him again and again into the agonizing maelstrom of the last thirty- six hours, and in his waking moments the gaunt spectre of failure haunted him. – The Silver Horde by Rex Beach