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

This exuberant whirlwind is kept in check with a strong foundation of clear blues, deep greens and polished woods. Abigail Stone, latimes.com, "h Club is the new club rising above in L.A.," 10 June 2019 Thus started a whirlwind of confusion and fear for Colleen. NBC News, "Twenty four years later, mother still fighting for justice in daughter Morgan Nick's disappearance," 7 June 2019 The 54-year-old reality star began dating Chris in late 2016, and their romance has been nothing short of a whirlwind. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Everything to Know About 'Little People, Big World' Star Amy Roloff's Boyfriend Chris Marek," 2 Apr. 2019 Pretty much ever since Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber tied the knot in a whirlwind courthouse wedding last fall, fans have been trying to figure out their seemingly strange relationship. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "All the Signs That Hailey Baldwin is Pregnant with Justin Bieber’s Baby," 25 Mar. 2019 It’s hard to imagine a Democratic White House convincing vulnerable House and Senate members to reap that whirlwind. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The 3 decisions that will shape Medicare-for-all," 17 Dec. 2018 Any internal frictions could be exposed when the ruling coalition holds its congress early next month, when it is expected to take steps to implement Abiy's whirlwind political and economic reforms. Elias Meseret, Fox News, "Ethiopia's stunning reforms now challenged by deadly unrest," 19 Sep. 2018 Twitter, much like myself, was lost in a whirlwind of emotions after this moment. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jaime and Brienne Finally Got Together on Game of Thrones and I Will Never Recover," 6 May 2019 Their appearance together comes after a whirlwind of a week for the royal family. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "A Body Language Expert Analyzes How Kate Middleton and Prince Harry Really Feel About Each Other," 26 Apr. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near whirlwind

whirlpool bath







Statistics for whirlwind

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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