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whirligig

play
noun whirl·i·gig \ˈhwər-li-ˌgig, ˈwər-\

Simple Definition of whirligig

  • : a child's toy that spins rapidly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of whirligig

  1. 1 :  a child's toy having a whirling motion

  2. 2 :  merry-go-round

  3. 3 a :  one that continuously whirls, moves, or changes b :  a whirling or circling course (as of events)

Did You Know?

English speakers, and particularly children, began spinning whirligigs as early as the 15th century. Since then, "whirligig" has acquired several meanings beyond its initial toy sense. It even has a place in the common name of the whirligig beetle, a member of the family Gyrinidae that swiftly swims in circles on the surface of still water. The word whirligig comes to us from Middle English "whirlegigg" ("whirling top"), which is itself from whirlen, meaning "to whirl," and gigg, meaning "(toy) top."

Origin of whirligig

Middle English whirlegigg, from whirlen to whirl + gigg top — more at gig


First Known Use: 15th century


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