I. verb Etymology: Middle English, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse hvirfla to whirl; akin to Old High German wirbil whirlwind, Old English hweorfan to turn — more at wharf Date: 14th century intransitive verb 1. to move in a circle or similar curve especially with force or speed 2. a. to turn on or around an axis like a wheel ; rotate b. to turn abruptly around or aside ; wheel <
whirled around in surprise
3. to pass, move, or go quickly <
whirled down the hallway
4. to become giddy or dizzy ; reel <
my head is whirling
transitive verb 1. to drive, impel, or convey with or as if with a rotary motion 2. a. to cause to turn usually rapidly on or around an axis ; rotate b. to cause to turn abruptly around or aside 3. obsolete to throw or hurl violently with a revolving motion • whirler noun II. noun Date: 15th century 1. a. a rapid rotating or circling movement b. something undergoing such a movement 2. a. a busy or fast-paced succession of events ; bustle <
a whirl of activity
the social whirl
b. a confused or disturbed mental state ; turmoil <
a whirl of febrile excitement — Emily Skeel
3. an experimental or brief attempt ; try <
gave it a whirl

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whirl — Whirl, n. [Cf. Dan. hvirvel, Sw. hvirfvel, Icel. hvirfill the crown of the head, G. wirbel whirl, crown of the head, D. wervel. See {Whirl}, v. t.] [1913 Webster] 1. A turning with rapidity or velocity; rapid rotation or circumvolution; quick… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whirl — whirl; whirl·er; whirl·ey; whirl·i·cote; whirl·ing·ly; whirl·wig; whirl·i·gig; …   English syllables

  • Whirl — may refer to: * Whirl (Transformers), a Transformers toy * Tilt A Whirl, a type of amusement ride * Atomic whirl, a symbol of atheism * Whirl (programming language) * Whirl magazine, a luxury lifestyle magazine in Pittsburgh, PA …   Wikipedia

  • whirl — ► VERB 1) move rapidly round and round. 2) (of the head or mind) seem to spin round. ► NOUN 1) a rapid movement round and round. 2) frantic activity: the mad social whirl. 3) a sweet or biscuit with a spiral shape. ● …   English terms dictionary

  • whirl — [n1] spin, revolution circle, circuit, circulation, circumvolution, flurry, gyration, gyre, pirouette, reel, roll, rotation, round, surge, swirl, turn, twirl, twist, wheel, whir, whirlpool; concepts 152,738 whirl [n2] commotion, confusion ado*,… …   New thesaurus

  • whirl — [hwʉrl, wʉrl] vi. [ME whirlen < ON hvirfla, akin to hverfa: see WHIR] 1. to move rapidly in a circular manner or as in an orbit; circle swiftly [couples whirling round the dance floor] 2. to rotate or spin fast; gyrate 3. to move, go, drive,… …   English World dictionary

  • Whirl — Whirl, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Whirled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Whirling}.] [OE. whirlen, probably from the Scand.; cf. Icel. & Sw. hvirfla, Dan. hvirvle; akin to D. wervelen, G. wirbeln, freq. of the verb seen in Icel. hverfa to turn. [root]16. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Whirl — Whirl, v. i. [1913 Webster] 1. To be turned round rapidly; to move round with velocity; to revolve or rotate with great speed; to gyrate. The whirling year vainly my dizzy eyes pursue. J. H. Newman. [1913 Webster] The wooden engine flies and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whirl — index commotion Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • whirl — vb 1 twirl, spin, wheel, swirl, *turn, revolve, rotate, gyrate, circle, pirouette, eddy 2 *reel, stagger, totter …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • whirl — whirl1 [wə:l US wə:rl] v [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: Probably from a Scandinavian language] 1.) [I and T] to turn or spin around very quickly, or to make someone or something do this ▪ We watched the seagulls whirling and shrieking over the harbour …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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