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[twurl] /twɜrl/
verb (used with object)
to cause to rotate rapidly; spin; revolve; whirl.
to twiddle:
to twirl my thumbs.
to wind idly, as about something.
verb (used without object)
to rotate rapidly; whirl.
to turn quickly so as to face or point in another direction.
an act or instance of twirling; spin; whirl.
something convoluted or having a spiral shape; coil; curl; convolution.
Origin of twirl
1590-1600; tw(ist) + (wh)irl
Related forms
untwirled, adjective
untwirling, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for twirl
  • Another gets up from her library chair every five minutes to twirl clockwise three times.
  • Her fine hands allowed her to flick and twirl the muleta, luring the bull and teasing him, with extraordinary artistry.
  • Imagine trying to twirl a drum majorette's baton with a weight attached to either side of the centre line.
  • Guide the sharp stake, and twirl it round and round.
  • As you twirl the sphere it can seem as if you are inside the sphere looking out at the scene.
  • It's a trick all right, especially if there's no guiding hand to twirl and ram the skull.
  • On the stage beside the band two dancers twirl expertly.
  • Subdivision streets often twirl back on themselves or dead-end, confounding even the best sense of direction.
  • Seahorses mate for life and every morning the couples come together to dance, change color and twirl around with linked tails.
  • They also sometimes pick up weeds or a piece of wood with their beaks, twirl in a circle, and smash the object on the water.
British Dictionary definitions for twirl


to move or cause to move around rapidly and repeatedly in a circle
(transitive) to twist, wind, or twiddle, often idly: she twirled her hair around her finger
(intransitive; often foll by around or about) to turn suddenly to face another way: she twirled around angrily to face him
an act of rotating or being rotated; whirl or twist
something wound around or twirled; coil
a written flourish or squiggle
Derived Forms
twirler, noun
Word Origin
C16: perhaps a blend of twist + whirl
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 twirl

1590s (n. and v.), of uncertain origin, possibly connected with Old English þwirl "a stirrer." Or else a blend of twist and whirl. Related: Twirled; twirling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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