From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Whorl \Whorl\, n. [OE. whorvil the whirl of a spindle; akin to
   AS. hweorfa the whirl of a spindle, hweorfan to turn; cf. OD.
   worvel the whirl of a spindle. See Whirl, n. & v.]
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   1. (Bot.) A circle of two or more leaves, flowers, or other
      organs, about the same part or joint of a stem.
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   2. (Zool.) A volution, or turn, of the spire of a univalve
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   3. (Spinning) The fly of a spindle.
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