whirl·​wind | \ ˈhwər(-ə)l-ˌwind, ˈwər(-ə)l-\

Definition of whirlwind

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small rotating windstorm of limited extent
2a : a confused rush : whirl a whirlwind of meetings
b : a violent or destructive force or agency



Definition of whirlwind (Entry 2 of 2)

: resembling a whirlwind especially in speed or force a whirlwind campaign a whirlwind romance

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Examples of whirlwind in a Sentence


My life has been a whirlwind lately. He attended a whirlwind of meetings.


The band went on a whirlwind concert tour. They were married after a whirlwind romance. We continued on at a whirlwind pace.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

It's been a whirlwind few weeks for Chopra and Jonas, who had a multi-day wedding celebration at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Nick Jonas Nearly Broke Priyanka Chopra's Number-One Relationship Rule—Twice," 20 Dec. 2018 But for Stephens, even a tournament-free 24 hours can be a whirlwind. Vogue, "On and Off The Court—24 Hours with Sloane Stephens," 10 Dec. 2018 Mark Wilson/Getty It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours of news about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "New developments about Mueller, Manafort, and Corsi.," 27 Nov. 2018 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal tour has been a whirlwind so far—and there's so much more to come over the next week. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Will Now Skip Some of Her Previously Scheduled Royal Tour Events," 21 Oct. 2018 And amid the whirlwind of wedding prep, the bride-to-be still found some time to reflect on the excitement of the day. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "See How Miguel and Nazanin Mandi Prepped for Their Wedding," 27 Nov. 2018 Before her tragic death, the pair were extremely close, and shared a strong bond, having both married into the whirlwind of royal life. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Fergie Says Princess Diana Would Want Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Know This One Thing," 22 Nov. 2018 San Diego Comic-Con 2018 begins this week, so the next couple of days will be filled with a whirlwind of trailers for upcoming films, panels, cosplay, interactive experiences, and more. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "San Diego Comic-Con 2018: all the best panels, news, and trailers to look for," 17 July 2018 But the Indy win has put him in an unfamiliar position, having to learn how to deal with the whirlwind that comes from an Indy win while trying to prepare and rest up for the doubleheader weekend in Detroit. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Indy 500 champ Will Power speeding to Detroit Grand Prix - after a nap," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Cristobal has only been in his new job for a little while, part of a whirlwind few weeks that saw Willie Taggart leave for Florida State and the Ducks prepare for (and then lose) the Las Vegas Bowl to Boise State. Brian Pedersen, ajc, "What Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said about Ducks’ early signees," 20 Dec. 2017 Rihanna, the ultimate multi-tasking queen, capped off her whirlwind New York Fashion Week with a bang on Thursday night. Paul Chi, Vanities, "Inside Rihanna’s Diamond Ball, Where Beyoncé and Jay-Z Danced to Calvin Harris and Barack Obama Sent His Regards," 15 Sep. 2017 Rihanna, the ultimate multi-tasking queen, capped off her whirlwind New York Fashion Week with a bang on Thursday night. Paul Chi, vanityfair.com, "Inside Rihanna’s Diamond Ball, Where Beyoncé and Jay-Z Danced to Calvin Harris and Barack Obama Sent His Regards," 15 Sep. 2017 But there is something about sandwiches, their versatility and their portability that can’t be beat during these whirlwind summer months. Chelsea Zwieg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Layered for summer: Farmers market pickings fill seasonal sandwiches," 25 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whirlwind.' 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 whirlwind


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1614, in the meaning defined above

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Learn More about whirlwind

Dictionary Entries near whirlwind

whirlpool bath







Statistics for whirlwind

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for whirlwind

The first known use of whirlwind was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for whirlwind



English Language Learners Definition of whirlwind

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very strong wind that moves in a spinning or swirling motion and that can damage buildings, trees, etc.

: something that involves many quickly changing events, feelings, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of whirlwind (Entry 2 of 2)

: happening or done very quickly


whirl·​wind | \ ˈhwərl-ˌwind, ˈwərl-\

Kids Definition of whirlwind

: a small windstorm of rapidly rotating air

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More from Merriam-Webster on whirlwind

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whirlwind

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whirlwind

Spanish Central: Translation of whirlwind

Nglish: Translation of whirlwind for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about whirlwind

Comments on whirlwind

What made you want to look up whirlwind? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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