Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

whir

or whirr

[hwur, wur]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), whirred, whir·ring.
  1. to go, fly, revolve, or otherwise move quickly with a humming or buzzing sound: An electric fan whirred softly in the corner.
Show More
verb (used with object), whirred, whir·ring.
  1. to move or transport (a thing, person, etc.) with a whirring sound: The plane whirred them away into the night.
Show More
noun
  1. an act or sound of whirring: the whir of wings.
Show More

Origin of whir

1350–1400; Middle English quirre (Scots) < Scandinavian; compare Danish hvirre, Norwegian kvirra. See whirl

whirr

[hwur, wur]
verb (used with or without object), noun
  1. whir.
Show More
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whirred

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It whirred gratefully; the clanking stopped and she tried again.

  • Insects hummed and shrilled, or whirred like a tiny orchestra.

    A Little Girl in Old Quebec

    Amanda Millie Douglas

  • They braced their feet, whirred, lifted unevenly, and sank back with a jar.

    Edge of the Jungle

    William Beebe

  • He was oblivious of the perilous steel that whirred and throbbed about him.

    The Shadow

    Arthur Stringer

  • But when he did he swore at the lions, softly, as he whirred by.

    Mr. Achilles

    Jennette Lee


British Dictionary definitions for whirred

whir

whirr

noun
  1. a prolonged soft swish or buzz, as of a motor working or wings flapping
  2. a bustle or rush
Show More
verb whirs, whirrs, whirring or whirred
  1. to make or cause to make a whir
Show More

Word Origin

C14: probably from Scandinavian; compare Norwegian kvirra, Danish hvirre; see 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

Word Origin and History for whirred

whir

v.

c.1400, Scottish, "fling, hurl," probably from Old Norse hvirfla, frequentative of hverfa "to turn" (see wharf). Cf. Danish hvirvle, Dutch wervelen, German wirbeln "to whirl." Related: Whirred; whirring.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper