follow Dictionary.com

Today's Word of the Day means...

whirl

[hwurl, wurl] /ʰwɜrl, wɜrl/
verb (used without object)
1.
to turn around, spin, or rotate rapidly:
The merry-go-round whirled noisily.
2.
to turn about or aside quickly:
He whirled and faced his pursuers.
3.
to move, travel, or be carried rapidly along:
She whirled along the freeway in her new car.
4.
to feel as though spinning rapidly; reel as from dizziness:
My head began to whirl.
verb (used with object)
5.
to cause to turn around, spin, or rotate rapidly.
6.
to send, drive, or carry in a circular or curving course.
7.
to drive, send, or carry along with great or dizzying rapidity.
8.
Obsolete. to hurl.
noun
9.
the act of whirling; rapid rotation or gyration.
10.
a whirling movement; quick turn or swing.
11.
a short drive, run, walk, or the like; spin.
12.
something that whirls; a whirling current or mass.
13.
a rapid round of events, affairs, etc.:
a whirl of meetings, conferences, and business lunches.
14.
a state marked by dizziness or a dizzying succession of feelings, thoughts, etc.
15.
an attempt or trial, especially one undertaken tentatively or experimentally:
Even if you don't agree with my plan, won't you give it a whirl?
16.
Machinery, whip (def 26).
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English whirlen < Old Norse hvirfla to whirl, akin to Old English hwyrflung turning, revolving, hwyrfel circuit; see whorl
Related forms
whirler, noun
whirlingly, adverb
outwhirl, verb (used with object)
unwhirled, adjective
Synonyms
1. gyrate, pirouette. 1, 5. revolve, twirl, wheel. 9. spin, revolution. 15. try, go, fling, whack.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for whirl
  • In a half-second whirl, she can spin around and leave a gang of thugs unconscious.
  • He was blowing on a plastic trumpet he had won, immersed in the kaleidoscopic whirl.
  • While good deeds are often rewarded, promotion sometimes seems to depend on a lucky whirl of the plastic arrow.
  • The carousel of stock exchange deals continued to whirl.
  • The eye wall is the term for the intense thunderstorms that whirl around the center of the hurricane.
  • whirl garlic in the bowl of a food processer until finely chopped.
  • The difference between a dust devil and a fire whirl is to some extent merely a matter of degree.
  • The need for consolidation has been apparent for years, yet the whirl of activity is dizzying.
  • Mash fruit in a bowl or whirl them in a blender or food processor.
  • In a large bowl or blender, beat or whirl eggs until light and pale.
British Dictionary definitions for whirl

whirl

/wɜːl/
verb
1.
to spin, turn, or revolve or cause to spin, turn, or revolve
2.
(intransitive) to turn around or away rapidly
3.
(intransitive) to have a spinning sensation, as from dizziness, etc
4.
to move or drive or be moved or driven at high speed
noun
5.
the act or an instance of whirling; swift rotation or a rapid whirling movement
6.
a condition of confusion or giddiness her accident left me in a whirl
7.
a swift round, as of events, meetings, etc
8.
a tumult; stir
9.
(informal) a brief trip, dance, etc
10.
(informal) give something a whirl, to attempt or give a trial to something
Derived Forms
whirler, noun
whirling, adjective
whirlingly, adverb
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse hvirfla to turn about; related to Old High German wirbil whirlwind
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for whirl
whirl
late 13c., probably from O.N. hvirfla "to go round, spin," related to hvirfill "circle, ring, crown," and to O.E. hweorfan "to turn" (see whir). Whirlpool is attested from 1520s, but O.E. had hwyrfepol and wirfelmere; whirlwind is mid-14c., probably on model of O.N. hvirfilvindr. Whirligig is from mid-15c., of various toys. Whirlybird "helicopter" is from 1951.
whirl
1411, "flywheel of a spindle," from whirl (v.). The meaning "act of whirling" is recorded from c.1480; fig. sense of "confused activity" is recorded from 1552. Colloq. sense of "tentative attempt" is attested from 1884, Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with whirl
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for whirl

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for whirl

11
11
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with whirl