whirl

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Old Norse: hvirfla ("to go round, spin"). Cognate to Albanian vorbull ("a whirl"). Related to whirr.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /wɜːl/ or IPA(key): /ʍɜːl/ (in Scottish English and some English accents)
  • (US) enPR: wûrl, IPA(key): /wɝl/ or enPR: hwûrl, IPA(key): /ʍɝl/ (in Scottish English and some English accents)
  • (file)

Rhymes: -ɜː(r)l

Verb[edit]

whirl (third-person singular simple present whirls, present participle whirling, simple past and past participle whirled)

  1. (intransitive) To rotate, revolve, spin or turn rapidly.
    The dancer whirled across the stage, stopped, and whirled around to face the audience.
  2. (intransitive) To have a sensation of spinning or reeling.
    My head is whirling after all that drink.
  3. (transitive) To make something or someone whirl.
    The dancer whirled his partner round on her toes.
  4. (transitive) To remove or carry quickly with, or as with, a revolving motion; to snatch.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels, / That whirled the prophet up at Chebar flood.
    • Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)
      The passionate heart of the poet is whirl'd into folly.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

whirl (plural whirls)

  1. An act of whirling.
    She gave the top a whirl and it spun across the floor.
  2. Something that whirls.
  3. A confused tumult.
  4. A rapid series of events
    My life is one social whirl.
  5. Dizziness or giddiness.
  6. (usually following “give”) A brief experiment or trial.
    OK, let's give it a whirl.

Derived terms[edit]