birr

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English bir (favorable or strong wind; assault, blow strike, violence, fury; strength), from Old English byre (strong wind, storm); cognate with Icelandic byrr (sailing winds), Albanian borë (snow) and Latin borea (North wind).

Noun[edit]

birr (plural birrs)

  1. force, vigor, energy
  2. a strong wind.
  3. the force of the wind; rush, impetus, momentum, driving force
  4. a thrust or push
  5. a whirring noise
    • 1916, Colonel J.A. Currie, “XVII The Battle of Neuve Chapelle”, in The Red Watch, With the First Canadian Division in Flanders[1], edition Reprint, Project Gutenberg, published 2009:
      When the British Tommies heard the "birr" of the five-inch Canadian shells they all asked whose they were.
  6. a strong trilling pronunciation

Verb[edit]

birr (third-person singular simple present birrs, present participle birring, simple past and past participle birred)

  1. To make a whirring noise; make a noise like that of revolving wheels, or of millstones at work.

References[edit]

  • Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, 1911
  • Dictionary.com, birr

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Amharic ብር (bir, silver)

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

birr (plural birrs)

  1. The currency of Ethiopia, divided into 100 santims

Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Irish Birr.

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

birr

  1. A city and a castle in County Offaly, central Ireland.