whirligig was our Word of the Day on 05/31/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of whirligig from the Web
The whirligig's whirlwind rise took even toy store clerks by surprise.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whirligig'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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."
WHIRLIGIG Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of whirligig for English Language Learners
: a child's toy that spins rapidly
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