Etymology
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whir (v.)

c. 1400, Scottish, "fling, hurl," probably from Old Norse hvirfla, frequentative of hverfa "to turn" (see wharf). Compare Danish hvirvle, Dutch wervelen, German wirbeln "to whirl." Related: Whirred; whirring.

updated on September 25, 2012

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Definitions of whir from WordNet
1
whir (v.)
make a soft swishing sound;
the motor whirred
Synonyms: whizz / whiz / whirr / birr / purr
2
whir (n.)
sound of something in rapid motion;
the whir of the propellers
whir of a bird's wings
Synonyms: whirr / whirring / birr
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.