[ hwurl-wind, wurl- ]
/ ˈʰwɜrlˌwɪnd, ˈwɜrl- /
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See synonyms for: whirlwind / whirlwinds on Thesaurus.com


Meteorology. a relatively small mass of air rotating rapidly around a more or less vertical axis and simultaneously advancing over land or sea: specific categories of whirlwind include dust devil, dust whirl, tornado, and waterspout: The sails were carried up to the mastheads by the force of the whirlwind.
anything resembling a whirlwind, as in violent action or destructive force: a fiery whirlwind of shrapnel.
someone or something characterized by great energy or swiftness, often with an atmosphere of chaos: a staff of three do-nothings and one whirlwind; a whirlwind of activity at the stock exchange.


like a whirlwind, as in speed or force: a whirlwind visit to New York.

verb (used without object)

to move or travel quickly: You can't just whirlwind in and out of their lives and expect them to be OK with that.



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On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Idioms for whirlwind

    (sow the wind and) reap the whirlwind, to suffer the penalties for one's misdeeds. Hosea 8:7.

Origin of whirlwind

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Old Norse hvirfilvindr; cognate with German Wirbelwind
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for whirlwind

/ (ˈwɜːlˌwɪnd) /


a column of air whirling around and towards a more or less vertical axis of low pressure, which moves along the land or ocean surface
  1. a motion or course resembling this, esp in rapidity
  2. (as modifier)a whirlwind romance
an impetuously active person
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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