- 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 for whirl on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for whirling
But Liberty is always dipping his shoulder, whirling around.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile
January 3, 2015
They all play a part in this whirling, well oiled machine, helping bring The Macallan to life.Ester Elchies, The Estate Built By Whiskey
December 10, 2014
But he was a whirling dervish of energy and could outwork his critics.From The Square Deal to The New Deal: The Overlapping Political Identities of TR and FDR
September 9, 2014
Back in July, a whirling household appliance caught her by the weave.Ellen Sings ‘The Fox,’ Ride on an Eagle’s Wing & More Viral Videos
Julian E. Wright
September 21, 2013
Bailey got the job and proceeded to “work like a whirling dervish.”CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Celebrates 2012 Award Winners
November 14, 2012
But do give me a moment, everything is all so whirling and hazy.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
The waves are whirling their boat past the rocks into the shallows.The Dramatic Values in Plautus
Wilton Wallace Blancke
But his head was whirling round, the blood was gushing from his brow, his temple, his mouth.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
The Diné, whirling on his heel, met the arrow with his throat, and pitched choking.The Trail Book
I can see him yet, scowling at me and whirling the loop over his head ready to throw.Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
- 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 whirling
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.
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.