• synonyms


[hwurl-wind, wurl-]
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  1. any of several relatively small masses of air rotating rapidly around a more or less vertical axis and advancing simultaneously over land or sea, as a dust devil, tornado, or waterspout.
  2. anything resembling a whirlwind, as in violent action or destructive force.
  3. any circling rush or violent onward course.
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  1. like a whirlwind, as in speed or force: a whirlwind visit to New York.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to move or travel quickly.
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  1. reap the whirlwind, to suffer the penalties for one's misdeeds. Hos. 8:7.
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Origin of whirlwind

1300–50; Middle English < Old Norse hvirfilvindr; cognate with German Wirbelwind

Synonyms for whirlwind

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for whirlwind

short, tornado, hurricane, rash, lightning, rapid, quick, swift, hasty, headlong, impetuous, impulsive, speedy, cyclonic

Examples from the Web for whirlwind

Contemporary Examples of whirlwind

Historical Examples of whirlwind

British Dictionary definitions for whirlwind


  1. 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
  2. an impetuously active person
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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 whirlwind


mid-14c., from whirl (v.) + wind (n.), probably on model of Old Norse hvirfilvindr.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper