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2017 Word of the Year

whir

or whirr

[hwur, wur] /ʰwɜr, wɜr/
verb (used without object), whirred, whirring.
1.
to go, fly, revolve, or otherwise move quickly with a humming or buzzing sound:
An electric fan whirred softly in the corner.
verb (used with object), whirred, whirring.
2.
to move or transport (a thing, person, etc.) with a whirring sound:
The plane whirred them away into the night.
noun
3.
an act or sound of whirring:
the whir of wings.
Origin of whir
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English quirre (Scots) < Scandinavian; compare Danish hvirre, Norwegian kvirra. See whirl

whirr

[hwur, wur] /ʰwɜr, wɜr/
verb (used with or without object), noun
1.
whir.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for whirring
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Even as they watched the gun moved on its swivel base, whirring underneath.

    The Gun Philip K. Dick
  • Soon the great wheel was whirring in every New England house.

    Home Life in Colonial Days Alice Morse Earle
  • Grasshoppers were whirring around, among the dried trunks and the grass.

    Pluck on the Long Trail

    Edwin L. Sabin
  • They deemed me an intruder, and rose on whirring wing at my approach.

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
  • And his wings, why they are whirring so quickly that you cannot see but can only hear them!

    Two Gallant Sons of Devon Harry Collingwood
  • All along the way the only sound to be heard was the whirring of the arms of the windmills.

    Holland, v. 1 (of 2) Edmondo de Amicis
  • She cried out, and they all disappeared with a whirring noise.

    Sketches of Our Life at Sarawak Harriette McDougall
  • But then he feels as if he were held down there by the weight of the whirring air.

British Dictionary definitions for whirring

whir

/wɜː/
noun
1.
a prolonged soft swish or buzz, as of a motor working or wings flapping
2.
a bustle or rush
verb whirs, whirrs, whirring, whirred
3.
to make or cause to make a whir
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
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Word Origin and History for whirring

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Nearby words for whirring

Word Value for whirring

15
16
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