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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rakeshaw visited Texas last weekend, ending a whirlwind recruitment that saw the 3-star prospect’s stock rise quickly in January as Power 5 schools identified him as one of the nation’s top unsigned cornerbacks. Josh Bean | Jbean@al.com, al, "Texas HS cornerback picking between Alabama, 2 others," 5 Feb. 2020 Since her whirlwind 2018, Ogunbowale led the Irish back to the NCAA championship game in her senior year, but this time her final shot did not fall in an 82-81 loss to Baylor last April. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee's Arike Ogunbowale looks back on the day when she first met her idol, Kobe Bryant," 28 Jan. 2020 This past week Frost and Yogasundram headed to Paris for a whirlwind experience at men’s Fashion Week, attending shows such as Vetements, Walter Van Beirendonck, Bode, Louis Vuitton, and Rick Owens. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Kerwin Frost Brings Outrageous Style to Men’s Fashion Week in Paris," 21 Jan. 2020 Life has begun to settle down after the whirlwind weeks that followed her husband’s arrival in Beirut. Sean Mclain, WSJ, "Carole Ghosn, in Defending Her Husband, Takes On Japan’s Legal System," 21 Jan. 2020 Others are planning a whirlwind long weekend in a big city. Ann Norman, cleveland, "Dreaming of a winter getaway?," 10 Jan. 2020 Consider the whirlwind courtship: Meetings had gone on for the better part of a day and Saturday is turning to Sunday and Jerry is telling a story, as usual, this time about buying the Cowboys. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "A closer look at the unlikely bromance of Jerry Jones and new Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy," 9 Jan. 2020 The 52 Places Traveler In a Year of Perpetual Motion, Moments That Stopped Time Looking back on a whirlwind journey around the world, the 52 Places Traveler revisits the experiences that offered lessons for travel — and life. New York Times, "In a Year of Perpetual Motion, Moments That Stopped Time," 6 Jan. 2020 Buy Now: $5, amazon.com Sandstorms: Days and Nights in Arabia, Peter Theroux (1990) Paul Theroux's brother also wrote a great travel book, but his is a slow burner, not a whirlwind tour. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 87 Greatest Travel Books of All Time, According to Authors," 8 Jan. 2020 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.

See More

First Known Use of whirlwind


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1614, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whirlwind

Time Traveler for whirlwind

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for whirlwind

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whirlwind.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whirlwind. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for whirlwind


How to pronounce whirlwind (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!