whir

verb
\ ˈhwər How to pronounce whir (audio) , ˈwər\
variants: or less commonly whirr
whirred; whirring

Definition of whir

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fly, revolve, or move rapidly with a whir hummingbirds whirring past

transitive verb

: to move or carry rapidly with a whir

whir

noun
variants: or less commonly whirr

Definition of whir (Entry 2 of 2)

: a continuous fluttering or vibratory sound made by something in rapid motion the whir of machinery

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Synonyms for whir

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of whir in a Sentence

Verb the hummingbird whirred as it hovered over a flower our tires whirred as we traveled over the rough road Noun the whir of a fan a whir coming from the refrigerator
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now, with the impeachment machinery whirring again, Watergate is sure to permeate our thought even more. David Greenberg, Washington Post, "Two accounts of Watergate remind readers: No one knew how it would end," 15 Nov. 2019 Four additional rotors whir at the ends of outriggers, for a total of 10 rotors (five counter-rotating to cancel out the twisting effects from the motors). Dan Neil, WSJ, "The First Flying-Car Review," 12 Sep. 2018 At the border between indoor space and the outdoor yard in the zoo’s Eastern black rhinoceros exhibit, a hydraulic door whirred. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Rhino Watch ’19: New baby rhinoceros a reluctant star at Lincoln Park Zoo," 18 June 2019 Large swaths of trees wouldn’t need to be cut, whirring metal machines wouldn’t need to be brought in, and pesticides that could threaten people, animals, and plants in the region wouldn’t need to be used. Jill Langlois, The New Republic, "The Small Business Solution to Saving the Amazon," 22 Aug. 2019 Trump abuses his power in ways that must have the founders whirring like turbines in their graves. Eugene Robinson, The Mercury News, "Robinson: More impeachment investigation? How much do we need?," 13 Sep. 2019 As the photographer’s shutter whirred, JuJu invested fully, grimacing and twisting his controller to avoid an imaginary digital death, the plug of the device flopping on the floor. Michael Mcknight, SI.com, "Much Ado About JuJu," 4 Sep. 2019 The meat grinder whirred to life as Dieudonne Kazzembe fed chunks of raw beef into the metal pan on top of the machine. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "For this teen refugee and his foster family, Father’s Day has a special resonance," 16 June 2019 Ceiling fans whirred overhead, stirring up dust and flapping the pages of the newspaper. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, "Ode to the air conditioner," 14 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Restaurant noise routinely climbs into the high 70-decibel range (the whir of a canister vacuum) and sometimes hits the mid-80s (the roar of a nearby diesel truck). Joyce Cohen, Washington Post, "For those with hearing impairments, restaurant noise isn’t just an irritation. It’s discrimination.," 17 June 2019 Restaurant noise routinely climbs into the high 70-decibel range (the whir of a canister vacuum) and sometimes hits the mid-80s (the roar of a nearby diesel truck). Joyce Cohen, Washington Post, "For those with hearing impairments, restaurant noise isn’t just an irritation. It’s discrimination.," 17 June 2019 But a new, exhaustive boxed set transports listeners to the real, unedited Woodstock: every blaring stage announcement about the dangers of brown acid, peal of stage feedback and whir of helicopter blades restored. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "10 Must-Hear Tracks From the Massive New Woodstock Anniversary Box Set," 2 Aug. 2019 Six weeks before debut, maintenance workers painted drywall and swept floors over the whir of industrial fans. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "A sneak peek at Fort Lauderdale’s first food hall," 15 Aug. 2019 After posing for photographs in a crush of international journalists, the two men walked back to the South Korean side amid a whir of cameras and had a bilateral meeting that lasted about an hour in Freedom House. Yonette Joseph, BostonGlobe.com, "4 takeaways from the Trump-Kim meeting at the DMZ," 30 June 2019 The music is visceral, the high-pitch whir of the lira flutes like a snake worming its way through my earholes and taking hold of my brain stem. National Geographic, "Music in Morocco: The ultimate sonic journey," 23 July 2019 The unmistakable whir of a Formula E car is one of the most distinctive sounds in sport. CBS News, "Inside Formula E, the electric car league vying to become the future of auto racing," 13 July 2019 For Taurasi, the mouth goes, the mind whirs, no filter. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Diana Taurasi reaching her basketball and life goal every day, with plenty to say along the way," 12 July 2019

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

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1677, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for whir

Verb

Middle English (Scots) quirren, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish hvirre to whirl, whir

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Statistics for whir

Last Updated

19 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for whir

The first known use of whir was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for whir

whir

noun

English Language Learners Definition of whir

: the sound made by something that is spinning very fast

whir

verb
\ ˈhwər How to pronounce whir (audio) , ˈwər\
whirred; whirring

Kids Definition of whir

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fly, operate, or turn rapidly with a buzzing sound … the machines stopped whirring, and from then on, not a single chocolate … was made.— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

whir

noun

Kids Definition of whir (Entry 2 of 2)

: a buzzing sound made by something spinning or operating quickly

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More from Merriam-Webster on whir

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for whir

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whir

Spanish Central: Translation of whir

Nglish: Translation of whir for Spanish Speakers

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