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See synonyms for: swirlswirledswirling on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to move around or along with a whirling motion; whirl; eddy.

  2. to be dizzy or giddy, as the head.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to whirl; twist.

  1. a swirling movement; whirl; eddy.

  2. a twist, as of hair around the head or of trimming on a hat.

  1. any curving, twisting line, shape, or form.

  2. confusion; disorder.

Origin of swirl

1375–1425; late Middle English (north) <Scandinavian; compare Norwegian svirla; cognate with Dutch zwirrelen to whirl, German (dial.) schwirrlen to totter; all < a root *swir- (whence Danish svirre to whirl, German schwirren to whir) + -l- frequentative suffix

Other words for swirl

Other words from swirl

  • swirl·ing·ly, adverb
  • outswirl, verb (used with object)

Words Nearby swirl

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use swirl in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for swirl


/ (swɜːl) /

  1. to turn or cause to turn in a twisting spinning fashion

  2. (intr) to be dizzy; swim: my head was swirling

  1. a whirling or spinning motion, esp in water

  2. a whorl; curl

  1. the act of swirling or stirring

  2. dizzy confusion

Origin of swirl

C15: probably from Dutch zwirrelen; related to Norwegian svirla, German schwirren

Derived forms of swirl

  • swirling, adjective
  • swirlingly, adverb
  • swirly, adjective

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