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swirl

[swurl] /swɜrl/
verb (used without object)
1.
to move around or along with a whirling motion; whirl; eddy.
2.
to be dizzy or giddy, as the head.
verb (used with object)
3.
to cause to whirl; twist.
noun
4.
a swirling movement; whirl; eddy.
5.
a twist, as of hair around the head or of trimming on a hat.
6.
any curving, twisting line, shape, or form.
7.
confusion; disorder.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English (north) < Scandinavian; compare Norwegian svirla; cognate with Dutch zwirrelen to whirl, German (dial.) schwirrlen to totter; all < a root *swir- (whence Danish svirre to whirl, German schwirren to whir) + -l- frequentative suffix
Related forms
swirlingly, adverb
outswirl, verb (used with object)
Synonyms
2. reel, spin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for swirling
  • Others brought with them some of the political and ideological movements then swirling across their homelands-including communism.
  • When fish swim, they leave little swirling vortices in their wake.
  • Shark prey--whether living, injured or dead--leaves behind swirling odor plumes that break apart with distance.
  • Though the region with the aneurysm is initially wider than normal, blood swirling in aneurysm can clot.
  • And limiting plastic and plastic bag use is the best way to prevent such litter from ending up swirling around mid-ocean.
  • But next time you see one take note to its swirling direction.
  • swirling, slender plumes of smoke from incense filled the air, seeping into our hair.
  • There were a hundred and forty seven us, every one drinking red hot molten lava and swirling it about our mouths with our tongues.
  • Let me try to expand on some of the things that have been swirling around here.
  • The cold air pushed the hot plumes back down in a swirling motion at sunrise.
British Dictionary definitions for swirling

swirl

/swɜːl/
verb
1.
to turn or cause to turn in a twisting spinning fashion
2.
(intransitive) to be dizzy; swim: my head was swirling
noun
3.
a whirling or spinning motion, esp in water
4.
a whorl; curl
5.
the act of swirling or stirring
6.
dizzy confusion
Derived Forms
swirling, adjective
swirlingly, adverb
swirly, adjective
Word Origin
C15: probably from Dutch zwirrelen; related to Norwegian svirla, German schwirren
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for swirling

swirl

n.

early 15c., "whirlpool, eddy," originally Scottish, perhaps related to dialectal Norwegian svirla or Dutch zwirrelen "to whirl." The meaning "whirling movement" is from 1818.

v.

1510s, with an isolated instance from 14c.; from swirl (n.). Related: Swirled; swirling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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