swirl

1 of 2

verb

swirled; swirling; swirls

intransitive verb

1
a
: to move with an eddying or whirling motion
swirling water
b
: to pass in whirling confusion
2
: to have a twist or convolution

transitive verb

: to cause to swirl
swirled her drink
swirlingly adverb

swirl

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: a whirling mass or motion : eddy
b
: whirling confusion
a swirl of events
2
: a twisting shape, mark, or pattern
3
: an act or instance of swirling

Examples of swirl in a Sentence

Verb The water swirled around the drain. kept swirling her lemonade until the ice had melted and it was completely watered down Noun A swirl of smoke rose from the chimney. He painted swirls of color on the canvas. ice cream with chocolate swirls
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The New York Times on Tuesday reported on the rumors that have been swirling around Hollywood for the past few days. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 3 Apr. 2024 This is one reason why, ever since his departure in November that year, speculation about his next creative home has swirled near-constantly. Luke Leitch, Vogue, 28 Mar. 2024 Still swirling in a horizontal magnetic field, the muons would ionize atoms in the material, dissipating energy and quelling their buzzing about. Byadrian Cho, science.org, 28 Mar. 2024 But questions over the pace of immigration are also swirling here. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Mar. 2024 The stage was set for the Fourth, whose five movements add up to a summa of Bartók’s art, by turns tenaciously labored, sinuously swirling, nocturnally eerie, pizzicato-punchy, and flat-out wild. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2024 But as the days drew into weeks, the rumor mill swirled — with conspiracy theories growing deeper and wilder — about what was keeping such a prominent member of the royal family out of view. Megan Specia, New York Times, 23 Mar. 2024 Historic neighborhoods swirl together with new and trendy establishments to create a culturally rich experience that’ll keep you entertained for the duration of your stay. Nina Kahn, Travel + Leisure, 21 Mar. 2024 Instead of quieting gossip swirling around the princess, the royal blunder further contributed to wild theories about her well-being and cast more doubt on the reliability of the palace as a source and the existence of the monarchy as a whole. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2024
Noun
But there are opportunities to be found in the swirl of change. Brent Lang, Variety, 1 Apr. 2024 Vogel pointed out the swirls of coal tar, and other inky substances, streaming by on the surface of the canal like galaxies. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, 26 Mar. 2024 As a bonus, the brand offers a truly impressive lineup of colors and patterns, from ocean blue to vintage swirls; there’s something for everyone. Jake Henry Smith, Glamour, 11 Mar. 2024 The piped swirls and cream tops call to mind architecture and the design trends of the period and were especially popular with Britain’s royal family, who used the style for generations of wedding confections. Annemarie Dooling, USA TODAY, 29 Feb. 2024 The swirl of cartoon physics and comic melodrama is fantastical and otherworldly, as if survivalists in the wild had access to home-movie equipment to chart their increasing delirium. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2024 Karu, a cafe with a verdant patio, tops brownies with swirls of passionfruit mousse in the trendy Las Mercedes neighborhood. Laurence Blair, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 In 2011, the agency decided to end the satellite’s operations and deorbit it, rather than adding to the swirl of space junk orbiting the planet. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 19 Feb. 2024 His big, bold works were filled with swirls of bright paints portraying people and animals as receptacles for ancient spiritual myths. Jordan Michael Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'swirl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of swirl was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near swirl

Cite this Entry

“Swirl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swirl. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

swirl

1 of 2 noun
1
: a whirling mass or motion : eddy
2
: whirling confusion
lost in the swirl of events
3
: a twisting shape, mark, or pattern

swirl

2 of 2 verb
1
: to move with or pass in a swirl
2
: to be marked with or arranged in swirls
3
: to cause to swirl
swirlingly
ˈswər-liŋ-lē
adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on swirl

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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