verb \ˈhwər(-ə)l, ˈwər(-ə)l\

: to move or go in a circle or curve especially with force or speed

: to turn rapidly in circles

: to turn quickly and suddenly

Full Definition of WHIRL

intransitive verb
:  to move in a circle or similar curve especially with force or speed
a :  to turn on or around an axis like a wheel :  rotate
b :  to turn abruptly around or aside :  wheel <whirled around in surprise>
:  to pass, move, or go quickly <whirled down the hallway>
:  to become giddy or dizzy :  reel <my head is whirling>
transitive verb
:  to drive, impel, or convey with or as if with a rotary motion
a :  to cause to turn usually rapidly on or around an axis :  rotate
b :  to cause to turn abruptly around or aside
obsolete :  to throw or hurl violently with a revolving motion
whirl·er \ˈhwər-lər, ˈwər-\ noun

Examples of WHIRL

  1. The cars were whirling around the track.
  2. Clothes were whirling in the washing machine.
  3. The water whirled around the drain.
  4. Her dance partner whirled her around.

Origin of WHIRL

Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse hvirfla to whirl; akin to Old High German wirbil whirlwind, Old English hweorfan to turn — more at wharf
First Known Use: 14th century



: a fast turning movement

: something that is turning quickly in circles

: a state of busy movement or activity

Full Definition of WHIRL

a :  a rapid rotating or circling movement
b :  something undergoing such a movement
a :  a busy or fast-paced succession of events :  bustle <a whirl of activity> <the social whirl>
b :  a confused or disturbed mental state :  turmoil <a whirl of febrile excitement — Emily Skeel>
:  an experimental or brief attempt :  try <gave it a whirl>

Examples of WHIRL

  1. My head was in a whirl.
  2. <the whirl of the mechanical ride made him dizzy>

First Known Use of WHIRL

15th century


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