whirl·​wind | \ ˈhwər(-ə)l-ˌwind How to pronounce whirlwind (audio) , 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

The Seahawks quarterback has been keeping a whirlwind schedule this offseason that has included a trip to Brazil two weeks ago, two days in spring training with the Yankees the weekend before last, and some working out at USC last weekend. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Russell Wilson’s whirlwind tour makes stop at NFL league meetings," 25 Mar. 2019 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's tour of the Oceania region is a whirlwind, even in its final hours. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Chose a Navy Midi Dress by Stella McCartney on Her Final Day in New Zealand," 30 Oct. 2018 This type of whirlwind schedule is nothing new to Reedy — he’s been cut by six teams in just four years. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Super Bowl-Bound Patriots Player Earns $11 an Hour Helping the Disabled in the Offseason," 2 Feb. 2018 The missile has undergone a whirlwind development schedule, with eleven launches between 2014 and 2016. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Is North Korea's Nuclear Missile Sub Ready to Set Sail?," 19 Dec. 2016 But the last year especially has been a whirlwind for the 22-year-old model. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Hailey Bieber Is Done With the Pressure of Having a 'Perfect Lifestyle'," 23 Apr. 2019 The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of action — sick-outs, strikes, viral face-to-face encounters with senators, and widespread national media attention on the youth movement to address climate change. Isha Tobis Clarke, Teen Vogue, "What the Youth Climate Strike Felt Like as a Woman of Color," 19 Mar. 2019 Celebrity Style 8 Slides It's truly been a whirlwind week in style. Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Wore a Bright Pink Dress, Plus More of the Week's Best Fashion Moments," 5 Apr. 2019 And while the pair must already be exhausted by this whirlwind royal tour (and its many outfit changes), the two stepped out tonight in glorious, gorgeous formalwear. Sally Holmes, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Wears Oscar de la Renta for Magical Red Carpet Moment in Sydney," 26 Oct. 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

16 May 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 How to pronounce whirlwind (audio) , 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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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