- to turn around, spin, or rotate rapidly: The merry-go-round whirled noisily.
- to turn about or aside quickly: He whirled and faced his pursuers.
- to move, travel, or be carried rapidly along: She whirled along the freeway in her new car.
- to feel as though spinning rapidly; reel as from dizziness: My head began to whirl.
- to cause to turn around, spin, or rotate rapidly.
- to send, drive, or carry in a circular or curving course.
- to drive, send, or carry along with great or dizzying rapidity.
- Obsolete. to hurl.
- the act of whirling; rapid rotation or gyration.
- a whirling movement; quick turn or swing.
- a short drive, run, walk, or the like; spin.
- something that whirls; a whirling current or mass.
- a rapid round of events, affairs, etc.: a whirl of meetings, conferences, and business lunches.
- a state marked by dizziness or a dizzying succession of feelings, thoughts, etc.
- 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?
- Machinery. whip(def 26).
Origin of whirl
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for whirl
I never lifted a brush before, I never mixed a paint, so I gave it a whirl.Dubya’s Portraits of Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin Are Just as Genius as You Hoped
April 4, 2014
A whirl of activity on and off the slopes, Kathy heads the local chapter of Disabled Sports, Eastern Sierra region.Homefront Veterans: Skiing With Wounded Warriors
John Kael Weston
February 17, 2014
Ted Widmer on the whirl of celebrity and policy that dance across the pages.The Man with the President’s Ear, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and JFK
October 27, 2013
Sajed fearlessly slapped on the rollerblades to give them a whirl, and a skater was born.If You Build It, They Will Skate
July 17, 2013
Berlusconi won his first whirl as prime minister on the same promise and immediately abolished the tax when he took office.Prime Minister Monti Resigns: Will Silvio Berlusconi Rise Again?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 22, 2012
He tossed my hand from him with a whirl, that pained my very shoulder.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
He caught him around the waist in his strong arms to whirl him to the ground.Buried Cities, Part 2
All the while my head was in a whirl and my heart beat so loud I thought she must have heard it.The Green Satin Gown
Laura E. Richards
Say, whence is the voice that when anger is burning, Bids the whirl of the tempest to cease?Graded Poetry: Second Year
He could turn and whirl swiftly enough, but White Fang was never there.White Fang
- to spin, turn, or revolve or cause to spin, turn, or revolve
- (intr) to turn around or away rapidly
- (intr) to have a spinning sensation, as from dizziness, etc
- to move or drive or be moved or driven at high speed
- the act or an instance of whirling; swift rotation or a rapid whirling movement
- a condition of confusion or giddinessher accident left me in a whirl
- a swift round, as of events, meetings, etc
- a tumult; stir
- informal a brief trip, dance, etc
- give something a whirl informal to attempt or give a trial to something
Word Origin and History for whirl
late 13c., probably from Old Norse hvirfla "to go round, spin," related to hvirfill "circle, ring, crown," and to Old English hweorfan "to turn" (see whir). Related: Whirled; whirling. Whirlybird "helicopter" is from 1951.
early 15c., "flywheel of a spindle," from whirl (v.). The meaning "act of whirling" is recorded from late 15c.; figurative sense of "confused activity" is recorded from 1550s. Colloquial sense of "tentative attempt" is attested from 1884, American English.