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twirl

[twurl] /twɜrl/
verb (used with object)
1.
to cause to rotate rapidly; spin; revolve; whirl.
2.
to twiddle:
to twirl my thumbs.
3.
to wind idly, as about something.
verb (used without object)
4.
to rotate rapidly; whirl.
5.
to turn quickly so as to face or point in another direction.
noun
6.
an act or instance of twirling; spin; whirl.
7.
something convoluted or having a spiral shape; coil; curl; convolution.
Origin of twirl
1590-1600
First recorded in 1590-1600; tw(ist) + (wh)irl
Related forms
untwirled, adjective
untwirling, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for twirl
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Loubet, before parting with his, gave it a twirl as a drum-major does his cane.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • Well, you fellows can stay ashore if you want to, and twirl your fingers.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • The captain took out a small pencil on a chain and began to twirl it.

    Image of the Gods Alan Edward Nourse
  • Having found the best materials at hand, he began to twirl the stick.

    An American Robinson Crusoe Samuel. B. Allison
  • Laughing a thick laugh, he gave a twirl to his moustache, and swaggered on.

  • And then he twirled all that he could twirl of that incipient moustache.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
  • What was he ever good for in this world but to tie his neckcloth and twirl his cane?

    The Dew of Their Youth S. R. Crockett
  • There goes a straw—well, how it does twist and twirl, to be sure!

    The Yellow Fairy Book Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang
British Dictionary definitions for twirl

twirl

/twɜːl/
verb
1.
to move or cause to move around rapidly and repeatedly in a circle
2.
(transitive) to twist, wind, or twiddle, often idly: she twirled her hair around her finger
3.
(intransitive; often foll by around or about) to turn suddenly to face another way: she twirled around angrily to face him
noun
4.
an act of rotating or being rotated; whirl or twist
5.
something wound around or twirled; coil
6.
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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