Whirligig Whirl"i*gig, n. [Whirl + gig.] [1913 Webster] 1. A child's toy, spun or whirled around like a wheel upon an axis, or like a top. --Johnson. [1913 Webster]

2. Anything which whirls around, or in which persons or things are whirled about, as a frame with seats or wooden horses. [1913 Webster]

With a whirligig of jubilant mosquitoes spinning about each head. --G. W. Cable. [1913 Webster]

3. A medi[ae]val instrument for punishing petty offenders, being a kind of wooden cage turning on a pivot, in which the offender was whirled round with great velocity. [1913 Webster]

4. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of beetles belonging to {Gyrinus} and allied genera. The body is firm, oval or boatlike in form, and usually dark colored with a bronzelike luster. These beetles live mostly on the surface of water, and move about with great celerity in a gyrating, or circular, manner, but they are also able to dive and swim rapidly. The larva is aquatic. Called also {weaver}, {whirlwig}, and {whirlwig beetle}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • whirligig — ► NOUN 1) a toy that spins round, e.g. a top or windmill. 2) another term for ROUNDABOUT(Cf. ↑roundabout) (in sense 2). 3) (also whirligig beetle) a small black water beetle which typically swims rapidly in circles on the surface. ORIGIN from… …   English terms dictionary

  • whirligig — mid 15c., a child s toy, from WHIRL (Cf. whirl) (v.) + gig (see GIG (Cf. gig) (1)). Meaning anything in constant motion is from 1580s; fickle, flighty person is from c.1600; as a type of water beetle, from 1713 …   Etymology dictionary

  • whirligig — [hwʉrl′i gig΄, wʉrl′i gig΄] n. [ME whirlgigge: see WHIRL & GIG1] 1. a child s toy that whirls or spins, as a pinwheel 2. MERRY GO ROUND 3. something that seems to whirl, or revolve in a cycle 4. a whirling motion or …   English World dictionary

  • Whirligig — Segelschiffkarussel (Windspiel) Whirligig Kunsthandwerk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Whirligig — A whirligig is an object that spins or whirls, or has at least one member that spins or whirls in the wind. The word, derived from the verb to whirl, is known in English since 1440, originally for various spinning toys. [The Oxford English… …   Wikipedia

  • whirligig — noun 1》 a toy that spins round, e.g. a top or windmill. 2》 another term for roundabout (in sense 2). 3》 a process or activity characterized by constant change or hectic activity: the whirligig of time. 4》 (also whirligig beetle) a small black… …   English new terms dictionary

  • whirligig — UK [ˈwɜː(r)lɪˌɡɪɡ] / US [ˈwɜrlɪˌɡɪɡ] / US [ˈhwɜrlɪˌɡɪɡ] noun [countable] Word forms whirligig : singular whirligig plural whirligigs 1) a small toy that spins 2) literary anything that changes continuously …   English dictionary

  • whirligig — /hwerr li gig , werr /, n. 1. something that whirls or revolves. 2. a whirling motion or course: the whirligig of fashion. 3. a giddy or flighty person. 4. Dial. a merry go round or carrousel. 5. a toy for whirling or spinning, as a top. [1400… …   Universalium

  • whirligig — noun /ˈwɜː.lɪ.ɡɪɡ,ˈwɝ.lɪ.ɡɪɡ/ a) Anything that whirls or spins around, such as a toy top. b) A whirligig beetle …   Wiktionary

  • whirligig — n. 1 a spinning or whirling toy. 2 a merry go round. 3 a revolving motion. 4 anything regarded as hectic or constantly changing (the whirligig of time). 5 any freshwater beetle of the family Gyrinidae that circles about on the surface. Etymology …   Useful english dictionary

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