What does whirl mean?

Definitions for whirl
ʰwɜrl, wɜrlwhirl

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word whirl.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. whirl, commotionnoun

    confused movement

    "he was caught up in a whirl of work"; "a commotion of people fought for the exits"

  2. whirl, swirl, vortex, convolutionnoun

    the shape of something rotating rapidly

  3. crack, fling, go, pass, whirl, offernoun

    a usually brief attempt

    "he took a crack at it"; "I gave it a whirl"

  4. spin, twirl, twist, twisting, whirlverb

    the act of rotating rapidly

    "he gave the crank a spin"; "it broke off after much twisting"

  5. twirl, swirl, twiddle, whirlverb

    turn in a twisting or spinning motion

    "The leaves swirled in the autumn wind"

  6. whirl, birl, spin, twirlverb

    cause to spin

    "spin a coin"

  7. eddy, purl, whirlpool, swirl, whirlverb

    flow in a circular current, of liquids

  8. spin, spin around, whirl, reel, gyrateverb

    revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis

    "The dervishes whirl around and around without getting dizzy"

  9. whirl, tumble, whirl aroundverb

    fly around

    "The clothes tumbled in the dryer"; "rising smoke whirled in the air"


  1. whirlnoun

    An act of whirling.

    She gave the top a whirl and it spun across the floor.

  2. whirlnoun

    Something that whirls.

  3. whirlnoun

    A confused tumult.

  4. whirlnoun

    A rapid series of events

    My life is one social whirl.

  5. whirlnoun

    Dizziness or giddiness.

  6. whirlnoun

    A brief experiment or trial.

    OK, let's give it a whirl.

  7. whirlverb

    To rotate, revolve, spin or turn rapidly.

    The dancer whirled across the stage, stopped, and whirled around to face the audience.

  8. whirlverb

    To have a sensation of spinning or reeling.

    My head is whirling after all that drink.

  9. whirlverb

    To make something or someone whirl.

    The dancer whirled his partner round on her toes.

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Whirlnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    ’Twere well your judgments but in plays did range;
    But ev’n your follies and debauches change
    With such a whirl, the poets of your age
    Are tir’d, and cannot score them on the stage. Dryden.

    Wings raise my feet; I’m pleas’d to mount on high,
    Trace all the mazes of the liquid sky;
    Their various turnings and their whirls declare,
    And live in the vast regions of the air. Thomas Creech, Manilius.

    Nor whirl of time, nor flight of years can waste. Thomas Creech.

    I have been watching what thoughts came up in the whirl of fancy, that were worth communicating. Alexander Pope.

    How the car rattles, how its kindling wheels
    Smoke in the whirl: the circling sand ascends,
    And in the noble dust the chariot’s lost. Smith.

    Though in dreadful whirls we hung
    High on the broken wave,
    I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
    Nor impotent to save. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

  2. To WHIRLverb

    To turn round rapidly.

    Etymology: hwrfan , Saxon; wirbelen, Dutch.

    Five moons were seen to-night,
    Four fixed, and the fifth did whirl about
    The other four in wond’rous motion. William Shakespeare, K. John.

    My thoughts are whirled like a potter’s wheel:
    I know not where I am, nor what I do. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    He whirls his sword around without delay,
    And hews through adverse foes an ample way. Dryden.

    With his full force he whirl’d it first around;
    But the soft yielding air receiv’d the wound. Dryden.

    With what a whirling force his lance he toss’d!
    Heav’ns what a spring was in his arm to throw! Dryden.

    The Stygian flood,
    Falling from on high, with bellowing sound,
    Whirls the black waves and rattling stones around. Addison.

    With impetuous motion whirl’d apace,
    This magick wheel still moves, yet keeps its place. George Granville.

    They have ever been taught by their senses, that the sun, with all the planets and the fixed stars, are whirled round this little globe. Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind.

  3. To Whirlverb

    To run round rapidly.

    He, rapt with whirling wheels, inflames the skyen,
    With fire not made to burn, but fairly for to shine. Edmund Spenser.

    As young striplings whip the top for sport
    On the smooth pavement of an empty court,
    The wooden engine flies and whirls about,
    Admir’d with clamours of the beardless rout. Dryden.

    She what he swears regards no more
    Than the deaf rocks when the loud billows roar;
    But whirl’d away, to shun his hateful fight,
    Hid in the forest. John Dryden, Æn.

    Wild and distracted with their fears,
    They justling plunge amidst the sounding deeps;
    The flood away, the struggling squadron sweeps,
    And men and arms, and horses whirling bears. Smith.


  1. whirl

    A whirl is a rapid spinning or rotating movement, or something that is perceived to be moving in this way. It could also relate to an act of whirling, often in a figurative sense, suggesting confusion or a hectic activity. In addition, it can refer to an attempt or trial at something.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Whirlverb

    to turn round rapidly; to cause to rotate with velocity; to make to revolve

  2. Whirlverb

    to remove or carry quickly with, or as with, a revolving motion; to snatch; to harry

  3. Whirlverb

    to be turned round rapidly; to move round with velocity; to revolve or rotate with great speed; to gyrate

  4. Whirlverb

    to move hastily or swiftly

  5. Whirlverb

    a turning with rapidity or velocity; rapid rotation or circumvolution; quick gyration; rapid or confusing motion; as, the whirl of a top; the whirl of a wheel

  6. Whirlverb

    anything that moves with a whirling motion

  7. Whirlverb

    a revolving hook used in twisting, as the hooked spindle of a rope machine, to which the threads to be twisted are attached

  8. Whirlverb

    a whorl. See Whorl

  9. Etymology: [OE. whirlen, probably from the Scand.; cf. Icel. & Sw. hvirfla, Dan. hvirvle; akin to D. wervelen, G. wirbeln, freq. of the verb seen in Icel. hverfa to turn. 16. See Wharf, and cf. Warble, Whorl.]


  1. Whirl

    Whirl is the name of several fictional characters from the various Transformers universes. All are blue Autobot helicopters.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Whirl

    hwėrl, n. a turning with rapidity: anything that turns with velocity.—v.i. to revolve rapidly.—v.t. to turn round rapidly: to carry away rapidly, as on wheels.—ns. Whirl′-about′, anything that turns round rapidly; Whirl′-bat (obs.), the ancient cestus; Whirl′-blast, a whirling blast of wind; Whirl′-bone, the knee-cap; Whirl′er; Whirl′igig, a child's toy which is spun or whirled rapidly round: a merry-go-round: anything that revolves rapidly: the water-beetle (Gyrinus): an ancient instrument of punishment, consisting of a pivoted wooden cage in which the prisoner was spun round; Whirl′ing; Whirl′ing-der′vish, one of an order of Mohammedan devotees who dance or spin round—the Mevlevis or dancing dervishes, founded in 1273; Whirl′ing-tā′ble, -machine′, a machine exhibiting the effects of centripetal and centrifugal forces: an instrument used by potters; Whirl′pool, a circular current in a river or sea, produced by opposing tides, winds, or currents: an eddy; Whirl′wind, a violent aerial current, with a whirling, rotary, or spiral motion and wild circling rush. [Skeat explains M. E. whirlen as a contraction for an assumed whirf-le, a freq. of Ice. hvirfla, to whirl, freq. of hverfa (pa.t. hvarf), to turn round; Ger. wirbeln, to whirl.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. whirl

    Small hooks fastened into cylindrical pieces of wood which communicate by a leather strap with a spoke-wheel, whereby three of them are set in motion at once. Used for spinning yarn for ropes. Now more commonly made of iron.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. WHIRL

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Whirl is ranked #94311 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Whirl surname appeared 194 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Whirl.

    54.1% or 105 total occurrences were Black.
    35% or 68 total occurrences were White.
    5.1% or 10 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    3% or 6 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce whirl?

How to say whirl in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of whirl in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of whirl in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of whirl in a Sentence

  1. Johann von Goethe:

    My poor head is in such a whirl, my mind is all in bits.

  2. Nat Hentoff:

    Those who created this country chose freedom. With all of its dangers. And do you know the riskiest part of that choice they made? They actually believed that we could be trusted to make up our own minds in the whirl of differing ideas. That we could be trusted to remain free, even when there were very, very seductive voices – taking advantage of our freedom of speech – who were trying to turn this country into the kind of place where the government could tell you what you can and cannot do.

  3. Johnny Joey Jones:

    He did n’t say, ‘ You ca n’t ride this ride, go talk to so-and-so. ’ It was, ‘ You ca n’t ride this ride, ’ I said ‘ Why ? ’ and he said, ‘ Because you do n’t have real legs. ’ and then once I left the ride, I researched the policy for every single ride in the park, and literally, I ca n’t get on a tilt-a-whirl. I ’m restricted to pretty much things that do n’t move, because of my legs.

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Translations for whirl

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"whirl." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/whirl>.

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    excessively agitated; distraught with fear or other violent emotion
    A aligned
    B frantic
    C obnoxious
    D transparent

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