1

whirl

play
verb \ ˈhwər(-ə)l , ˈwər(-ə)l \

Definition of whirl

intransitive verb
1 :to move in a circle or similar curve especially with force or speed
2 a :to turn on or around an axis like a wheel :rotate
b :to turn abruptly around or aside :wheel
  • whirled around in surprise
3 :to pass, move, or go quickly
  • whirled down the hallway
4 :to become giddy or dizzy :reel
  • my head is whirling
transitive verb
1 :to drive, impel, or convey with or as if with a rotary motion
2 a :to cause to turn usually rapidly on or around an axis :rotate
b :to cause to turn abruptly around or aside
3 obsolete :to throw or hurl violently with a revolving motion

whirler

play \ˈhwər-lər, ˈwər-\ noun

Examples of whirl in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of whirl from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology 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

whirl Synonyms

Synonyms
agitate, churn, swirl, wash, stir
Antonyms
crawl, creep, poke
Related Words
beat, paddle, whip, whisk; reel, shake, wheel
Near Antonyms
dally, dawdle, dillydally, drag, hang (around or out), lag, linger, loiter, poke, tarry; amble, lumber, plod, saunter, shuffle, stroll; decelerate, slow (down or up)

2

whirl

noun

Definition of whirl

1 a :a rapid rotating or circling movement
b :something undergoing such a movement
2 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
3 :an experimental or brief attempt :try
  • gave it a whirl

Examples of whirl in a Sentence

  1. My head was in a whirl.

  2. the whirl of the mechanical ride made him dizzy

Recent Examples of whirl from the Web

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

First Known Use of whirl

15th century



WHIRL Defined for English Language Learners

whirl

play
verb

Definition of whirl for English Language Learners

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

  • : to turn rapidly in circles

  • : to turn quickly and suddenly


whirl

noun

Definition of whirl for English Language Learners

  • : a fast turning movement

  • : something that is turning quickly in circles

  • : a state of busy movement or activity


WHIRL Defined for Kids

1

whirl

play
verb \ ˈhwərl , ˈwərl \

Definition of whirl for Students

whirled; whirling
1 :to turn or move in circles rapidly
2 :to feel dizzy
  • After the ride my head whirled.
3 :to move or carry around rapidly

2

whirl

noun

Definition of whirl for Students

1 :a rapid movement in circles
2 :something that is or seems to be moving in circles
  • a whirl of dust
3 :a state of busy movement :bustle
4 :a brief or experimental try
  • I've never tried, but I'll give it a whirl.


Seen and Heard

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