whir

or whirr

[ hwur, wur ]
/ ʰwɜr, wɜr /

verb (used without object), whirred, whir·ring.

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, whir·ring.

to move or transport (a thing, person, etc.) with a whirring sound: The plane whirred them away into the night.

noun

an act or sound of whirring: the whir of wings.

Nearby words

  1. whipstitch,
  2. whipstock,
  3. whiptail,
  4. whiptail wallaby,
  5. whipworm,
  6. whirl,
  7. whirlabout,
  8. whirligig,
  9. whirligig beetle,
  10. whirling dervish

Origin of whir

1350–1400; Middle English quirre (Scots) < Scandinavian; compare Danish hvirre, Norwegian kvirra. See whirl

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whirs


British Dictionary definitions for whirs

whir

whirr

/ (wɜː) /

noun

a prolonged soft swish or buzz, as of a motor working or wings flapping
a bustle or rush

verb whirs, whirrs, whirring or whirred

to make or cause to make a whir

Word Origin for whir

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

Word Origin and History for whirs

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