Etymology
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whirl (v.)

c. 1300, probably from Old Norse hvirfla "to go round, spin," related to hvirfill "circle, ring, crown," and to Old English hweorfan "to turn" (see wharf). Related: Whirled; whirling. Whirlybird "helicopter" is from 1951.

whirl (n.)

early 15c., "flywheel of a spindle," from whirl (v.). The meaning "act of whirling" is recorded from late 15c.; figurative sense of "confused activity" is recorded from 1550s. Colloquial sense of "tentative attempt" is attested from 1884, American English.

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Definitions of whirl
1
whirl (v.)
turn in a twisting or spinning motion;
Synonyms: twirl / swirl / twiddle
whirl (v.)
cause to spin;
Synonyms: birl / spin / twirl
whirl (v.)
flow in a circular current, of liquids;
Synonyms: eddy / purl / whirlpool / swirl
whirl (v.)
revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis;
The dervishes whirl around and around without getting dizzy
Synonyms: spin / spin around / reel / gyrate
whirl (v.)
fly around;
rising smoke whirled in the air
Synonyms: tumble / whirl around
2
whirl (n.)
confused movement;
he was caught up in a whirl of work
Synonyms: commotion
whirl (n.)
the shape of something rotating rapidly;
Synonyms: swirl / vortex / convolution
whirl (n.)
a usually brief attempt;
I gave it a whirl
Synonyms: crack / fling / go / pass / offer
whirl (n.)
the act of rotating rapidly;
Synonyms: spin / twirl / twist / twisting
From wordnet.princeton.edu