[hwur-li-gig, wur-]
something that whirls or revolves.
a whirling motion or course: the whirligig of fashion.
a giddy or flighty person.
Dialect. a merry-go-round or carrousel.
a toy for whirling or spinning, as a top.

1400–50; late Middle English whirlegigge. See whirl, gig1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
whirligig (ˈwɜːlɪˌɡɪɡ)
1.  any spinning toy, such as a top
2.  another name for merry-go-round
3.  anything that whirls about, spins, or moves in a circular or giddy way: the whirligig of social life
4.  another name for windmill
[C15: whirlegigge, from whirl + gig1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Whirligig beetles normally live on the surface of the water and swim rapidly in
  circles when disturbed.
Whirligig beetles make erratic patterns on the surface.
The whirligig beetle's eyes focus both above and below water level to help it
  find prey at the water's surface.
The interior is often painted with humans or animals in simplified geometric
  forms arranged in circular or whirligig compositions.
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