whir

verb
\ ˈ(h)wər How to pronounce whir (audio) \
variants: or less commonly whirr
whirred; whirring

Definition of whir

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fly, revolve, or move rapidly with a whir hummingbirds whirring past

transitive verb

: to move or carry rapidly with a whir

whir

noun
variants: or less commonly whirr

Definition of whir (Entry 2 of 2)

: a continuous fluttering or vibratory sound made by something in rapid motion the whir of machinery

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Synonyms for whir

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of whir in a Sentence

Verb the hummingbird whirred as it hovered over a flower our tires whirred as we traveled over the rough road Noun the whir of a fan a whir coming from the refrigerator
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And there are two 3D printers that whir into action as students make attachments to use with protective masks. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "Roller derby-skating, reptile-loving librarian encourages San Antonio students to live life ‘out loud’," 10 Aug. 2020 The officer provided the phone number of a nearby resident, telling the owner to call it the next time his motion-sensing security cameras whirred into action. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "Suspect in Arbery Shooting Offered to Help Deal With Potential Trespasser," 16 May 2020 Slightly bigger than a medium-sized dog, the six-wheeled robots whir around delivering snacks and meals throughout the day. Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "Food and grocery delivery robots could soon come to Frisco," 7 May 2020 Neighbors came out to witness and capture the procession on their cellphones while helicopters, including a U.S. Customs & Border Patrol black hawk, whirred loudly overhead. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "First responders from around the region honor 5-year-old COVID-19 victim Skylar Herbert," 25 Apr. 2020 Sanitizer whirred past by the thousands, enough to make an Amazon shopper weep. Lizzie Johnson, SFChronicle.com, "Transformed by the coronavirus: San Rafael’s EO Products can’t make enough hand sanitizer," 27 Mar. 2020 One afternoon in mid-November, two New York Times designers watched as streams of pinks, oranges, blues and greens whirred by. Danya Issawi, New York Times, "How We Created a ‘Turducken’ of Media News," 30 Nov. 2019 The saw had bucked and gotten just squirrelly enough to whir through the web of Baker’s off hand and deep into the bone of his thumb. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "Here’s Why Shooters Shouldn’t Make Their Own Targets," 19 Mar. 2020 There is a robot cleaning machine whirring down the hallway buffing the floor, and another delivering things to rooms. Anna Lea Hand, Longreads, "If Miscarriage is So Normal, Why Doesn’t Anybody Talk About It?," 3 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The whir of helicopter blades and the rattle of hand saws has been a constant on Bill Williams Mountain this fall. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, "Recover or restore? Bill Williams project aims to prevent wildfires by thinning forests," 10 Dec. 2020 Then, the low mumble of the waves is quickly joined by the whir of lines being cast, by the wet plunk of sinkers hitting the water, by the happy reel-screech of a fish on. Jonathan Miles, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: Fishing the Venice Beach Pier," 8 Dec. 2020 Gather milk, eggs, a bit of onion, sugar and flour; open a can of whole kernel corn, pull out the blender and whir together a fluffy savory pudding that requires just 10 to 15 minutes of hands-on time. Washington Post, "Thanksgiving side dishes for big or small groups: Mac and cheese, roasted squash and corn pudding," 13 Nov. 2020 Heat lingers on the pavement as machines begin to whir. Lexi Pandell, Wired, "The Future of Work: ‘Remembrance,’ by Lexi Pandell," 20 Nov. 2020 The whir of an electric mixer and the whispering of your name, with no one else around. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "Scares are on the menu at Better Than Sex, a Plano dessert shop some say is haunted," 28 Oct. 2020 For his wife, the bigger problem was the never-ending whir of the chiller pumps. Cade Metz, New York Times, "When Start-Ups Go Into the Garage (or Sometimes the Living Room)," 20 Oct. 2020 Sloan powers up the toy and watches as the motor starts to whir. Lux Alptraum, Wired, "One Woman’s High-Touch Bid to Upend the Sex-Toy Industry," 16 Oct. 2020 In contrast, matting the e-tron Sportback's accelerator only raised the volume to a 65-decibel whir. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback Whispers Electric Luxury," 28 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whir.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of whir

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1677, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for whir

Verb

Middle English (Scots) quirren, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish hvirre to whirl, whir

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Time Traveler for whir

Time Traveler

The first known use of whir was in the 15th century

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Statistics for whir

Cite this Entry

“Whir.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whir. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for whir

whir

noun

English Language Learners Definition of whir

: the sound made by something that is spinning very fast

whir

verb
\ ˈhwər How to pronounce whir (audio) , ˈwər \
whirred; whirring

Kids Definition of whir

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fly, operate, or turn rapidly with a buzzing sound … the machines stopped whirring, and from then on, not a single chocolate … was made.— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

whir

noun

Kids Definition of whir (Entry 2 of 2)

: a buzzing sound made by something spinning or operating quickly

More from Merriam-Webster on whir

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whir

Nglish: Translation of whir for Spanish Speakers

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