swirl

1 of 2

verb

swirled; swirling; swirls

intransitive verb

1
a
: to move with an eddying or whirling motion
swirling water
b
: to pass in whirling confusion
2
: to have a twist or convolution

transitive verb

: to cause to swirl
swirled her drink
swirlingly adverb

swirl

2 of 2

noun

1
a
: a whirling mass or motion : eddy
b
: whirling confusion
a swirl of events
2
: a twisting shape, mark, or pattern
3
: an act or instance of swirling

Example Sentences

Verb The water swirled around the drain. kept swirling her lemonade until the ice had melted and it was completely watered down Noun A swirl of smoke rose from the chimney. He painted swirls of color on the canvas. ice cream with chocolate swirls
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
But questions continue to swirl about how a relatively small band of unarmed protesters, who had largely publicized their plans, were able so easily to storm the country’s most important government buildings. Simon Romero, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2023 But while slower growth and a smaller number of job openings lend some hope that the Fed could achieve a soft landing and bring down inflation with minimal economic and human suffering, plenty of headwinds and uncertainty continue to swirl about. Alicia Wallace, CNN, 2 Dec. 2022 Rumors swirl about acts of armed resistance and the sudden disappearance of officials who refuse to cooperate with the Russian authorities. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Aug. 2022 While Virgin Orbit's technical execution has been excellent, questions continue to swirl about the financial viability of the company's business. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 28 Dec. 2022 New York congressman-elect George Santos has remained silent as questions continue to swirl about the validity of his life story. Byrick Klein, Averi Harper, ABC News, 22 Dec. 2022 As questions swirl about how much cryptocurrencies will be worth in the wake of the spectacular collapse of the crypto exchange FTX and other major platforms, a key question has emerged: Who will keep your crypto safe? Rob Wile, NBC News, 21 Nov. 2022 Ultimately, questions swirl around how the Fed will cut through the fog. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2022 Questions still swirl around how to successfully execute outdoor dining during fall and winter, but Monday, the city of Chicago issued some new guidelines to help the food and beverage industry make plans. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, 21 Sep. 2020
Noun
Cocoa Puffs, marshmallows, Kinder white chocolate bar and waffle cone all topped with cookie dough, served either as a soft-serve swirl or a milkshake and with a side of gummy bears. Stephanie Breijostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 3 Feb. 2023 Similarly, a glowing swirl was photographed by the Subaru Telescope above Hawaii in April after a Falcon 9 rocket launched a satellite into orbit. Kelly Kasulis Cho, Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2023 Similarly, a glowing swirl was photographed by the Subaru Telescope above Hawaii in April after a Falcon 9 rocket launched a satellite into orbit. Kelly Kasulis Cho, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Jan. 2023 In largely opaque regions called nebulae, dust and gas swirl together to create stars and proto-planetary systems. Naoki Nitta, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Jan. 2023 Pipe a frosting swirl on each cupcake, starting in the center and spiraling out. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Jan. 2023 Add some springtime drama with SpaRitual's swirl of silver, mauve and pink tones. April Franzino, Good Housekeeping, 17 Jan. 2023 Add the tequila, simple syrup, orange liqueur and lime juice to the glass and swirl to mix. Jais Tollette, USA TODAY, 28 Dec. 2022 Inspired, according to the 52-year-old Kawashima, about a gnawing fear of death that kicked in once some of his close friends started dying, the album marries Sigh’s usual surrealistic swirl of genres with lyrics reflecting on life’s fragility. Hank Shteamer, SPIN, 27 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swirl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of swirl was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near swirl

Cite this Entry

“Swirl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swirl. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

swirl

1 of 2 noun
1
: a whirling mass or motion : eddy
2
: whirling confusion
lost in the swirl of events
3
: a twisting shape, mark, or pattern

swirl

2 of 2 verb
1
: to move with or pass in a swirl
2
: to be marked with or arranged in swirls
3
: to cause to swirl
swirlingly
ˈswər-liŋ-lē
adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on swirl

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