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From Middle English whirlewind, whirlewynde, equivalent to whirl +‎ wind. Compare Middle Dutch wervelwint, Old Norse hvirfilvindr.



whirlwind (plural whirlwinds)

  1. A violent windstorm of limited extent, as the tornado, characterized by an inward spiral motion of the air with an upward current in the center; a vortex of air. It usually has a rapid progressive motion.
  2. (figuratively) A person or body of objects or events sweeping violently onward.
    The weeks leading up to the convention were a whirlwind of preparation and hurried activity.
    Once he got that new scooter he turned into a whirlwind and damaged all the flowers.


Derived termsEdit


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whirlwind (not comparable)

  1. Rapid and minimal: a whirlwind tour, a whirlwind romance.
    • 2016, Nina Milne, Rafael's Contract Bride (page 60)
      So you aren't deserting the Caversham ship. They'll understand. After all, their courtship was pretty whirlwind itself.