whirl·​wind | \ ˈ(h)wər(-ə)l-ˌwind How to pronounce whirlwind (audio) \

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

Noun My life has been a whirlwind lately. He attended a whirlwind of meetings. Adjective 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 whirlwind romance with the heartthrob may have quickly garnered her new fans, but Chopra Jonas spent decades earning her chops. Priya Rao, Marie Claire, "Priyanka Pulls Back the Curtain," 25 Jan. 2021 The announcement caps a whirlwind courtship where Herman seemed to be headed to LSU just 48 hours earlier. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "The highs and lows of Tom Herman’s tenure at Texas: From a rough debut vs. Maryland to stunning Georgia in the Sugar Bowl," 2 Jan. 2021 His four months were a whirlwind similar to Aledo’s remarkable championship runs. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "In a matter of months, Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi went from a mystery to his Aledo teammates to winning a title," 15 Jan. 2021 Since news came last week that the Red Sox were hiring Smith, her days have been a whirlwind. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Red Sox barrier breaker Bianca Smith says, ‘I just want to focus on being a coach’," 6 Jan. 2021 How this all happened -- Seipel getting to the Browns’ most important game since 2002, fleeing hospice for a weekend to watch his team play in person with his dad in a suite provided by Emily Mayfield -- is kind of a whirlwind. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "Browns fan Tom Seipel, battling kidney cancer and in hospice, gets one ‘last-ditch party,’ thanks to his fellow fans and Emily Mayfield," 3 Jan. 2021 For coach Terry Porter and the men’s team, which featured nine new players, the season has been a whirlwind. oregonlive, "How the Portland Pilots men’s and women’s basketball teams have navigated confusion, frustration ... and hope in 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 Clarke learned her parents' whirlwind romance was the result of a blind date in the summer of 1964. CBS News, "Nat King Cole's long-lost granddaughter opens up about discovering her famous family, biological parents," 24 Dec. 2020 Live star Pete Davidson in 2019 after a whirlwind romance. Natasha Reda, Glamour, "Ariana Grande Is Engaged to Dalton Gomez: ‘Forever n Then Some’," 20 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Esper’s been on a whirlwind travel schedule, and in recent weeks has been making the rounds of think tanks promoting his Battle Force 2045 plan to counter China and retool the U.S. military. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "As election draws near, speculation grows that Esper’s days as Pentagon chief are numbered," 26 Oct. 2020 The signing caps off a whirlwind few weeks for the artist. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "'Old Town Road' Rapper Lil Nas X Signs to Columbia Records," 22 Mar. 2019 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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Time Traveler for whirlwind

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for whirlwind

Last Updated

7 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Whirlwind.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whirlwind. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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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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