• A small whirlwind deposits leaves at the corner of a building
    A small whirlwind deposits leaves at the corner of a building
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n whirlwind a more or less vertical column of air whirling around itself as it moves over the surface of the Earth
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Whirlwind 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. "The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods.
      And drowns the villages."
    • Whirlwind Fig.: A body of objects sweeping violently onward. "The whirlwind of hounds and hunters."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n whirlwind A wind moving in a circumscribed circularpath; amass of air, of which the height is generally very great in comparison with its width, rotating rapidly round a vertical or slightly inclined axis, this axis having at the same time a progressive motion over the surface of the land or Sea. Whirlwinds vary greatly in dimensions and intensity, the term including the miniature eddy that circles in the dusty street, the towering sand-pillars of the tropical deserts, the waterspout formed over bodies of water, and the destructive tornado of the United States. They arise when the atmosphere is in a condition of instability, and are one of the processes by which a stable condition is regained.
    • n whirlwind Figuratively, any wild circling rush resembling a whirlwind.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Whirlwind a violent aerial current, with a whirling, rotary, or spiral motion and wild circling rush
    • ***


  • Joseph Addison
    “Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.”
  • Bible
    “Sow to the wind and you will reap a whirlwind.”
  • Bible
    “They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. Icel. hvirfilvindr, Sw. hvirfvelvind, Dan. hvirvelvind, G. wirbelwind,. See Whirl, and Wind (n.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
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.


In literature:

Then Princess Rosemonde de Harn swept in like a whirlwind.
"Paris From the "Three Cities"" by Emile Zola
A whirlwind of madness seemed to be passing over the region.
"The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete Lourdes, Rome and Paris" by Emile Zola
When he danced, he was like a whirlwind that had caught up the contents of an old-clothes-shop.
"Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood" by George MacDonald
Out of the south cometh the whirlwind, and cold out of the north.
"The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII) Margaret Smith's Journal in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 1678-9; Tales and Sketches; My Summer with Dr. Singletary: A Fragment; and Others" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Out of the south cometh the whirlwind, and cold out of the north.
"The Complete Works of Whittier The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index" by John Greenleaf Whittier
But the tempest seemed to heighten, as if by the sympathy of the elements, the popular storm and whirlwind.
"Leila, Complete The Siege of Granada" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Next instant they laughed again, and to the ruffian Andrew it seemed as though suddenly he had fallen into the power of a whirlwind.
"Fair Margaret" by H. Rider Haggard
The next moment the earth gave way, and I was caught up in a whirlwind of dust and ashes.
"The Worlds Greatest Books" by Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.
The whirlwind was following the line of the road!
"Not Pretty, But Precious" by John Hay, et al.
And at that moment hurricanes and whirlwinds began to blow.
"Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 1" by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

In poetry:

He builds a house, which quickly down must go,
As if a whirlwinde blew
And crusht the building: and it's partly true,
His minde is so.
"Giddinesse" by George Herbert
And when the whirlwind hath gone rushing by,
Obedient to thy will,
What reverence sits upon the wave and sky,
Humbled, subdued, and still!
"Thoughts At Sea" by Samuel Griswold Goodrich
When the earthquake tears the ground,
When the whirlwind shakes the air—
Marked ye not His presence round?
Tracked ye not His footsteps there?
"Hymn: Have ye never heard His voice?" by John Bowring
Rain beats, hail rattles, whirlwinds tear;
The slender but in fragment's flew;
But not a lock of Moy's loose hair
Was waved by wind, or wet by dew.
"Glenfinlas; or, Lord Ronald's Coronach" by Sir Walter Scott
But whirlwinds rise: the vessel reel'd,
Heaven! the sweet parent is o'erthrown:
Her falling head she fails to shield,
Attentive to her child alone.
"The Swan" by William Hayley
And now the wicket open flew,
As though a whirlwind fell'd it;
And now a ghastly figure stood
Before the Maiden—while her blood
Congeal'd, as she beheld it!
"Golfre, Gothic Swiss Tale" by Mary Darby Robinson

In news:

A whirlwind staging of a classic duo.
Top pick Dahl arrives in GJ after two-day whirlwind.
I mean, the rope , or in some cases the ropes , were 'whirlwinds' of rope .
Remembering that 'whirlwind of ropes ' reminded me of how life is, and especially the Christian Life.
In a whirlwind session, the Boulder rockers cranked out three songs from their new record and told us a tour story you just have to hear for yourself.
Giuliani's Whirlwind Senate Campaign Cuts a Swath Through Republican and Conservative Parties.
Needless to say, it's been a whirlwind of events.
With a whirlwind of significant rulings, the Supreme Court ended its term recently.
What a whirlwind event it was.
In the midst of the Shirley Sherrod whirlwind last week, there was something that grabbed our attention.
So that was a whirlwind.
Take a whirlwind cross-country tour of some top university research labs where tai chi is being studied.
MIDDLEBURY — Paul Ralston's first political campaign proved a whirlwind affair — a mere 48 hours.
Lakers were more than just shocked by his whirlwind wedding to Khloe Kardashian last month.
It has been a whirlwind week for Ted Williams .

In science:

Much ongoing work addresses properties of galaxies to high redshift, and we were treated to a whirlwind overview on the last day of the conference.
Island Universes
Warping a singular function, we’d better prepared to reap the whirlwinds.
Total wave based fast direct solver for volume scattering problems