• WordNet 3.6
    • v whir make a soft swishing sound "the motor whirred","the car engine purred"
    • n whir sound of something in rapid motion "whir of a bird's wings","the whir of the propellers"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Whir A buzzing or whizzing sound produced by rapid or whirling motion; as, the whir of a partridge; the whir of a spinning wheel.
    • v. t Whir To hurry a long with a whizzing sound. "This world to me is like a lasting storm, Whirring me from my friends."
    • v. i Whir To whirl round, or revolve, with a whizzing noise; to fly or more quickly with a buzzing or whizzing sound; to whiz. "The partridge bursts away on whirring wings."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • whir To fly, dart, revolve, or otherwise move quickly with a whizzing or buzzing sound; whizz.
    • whir To hurry away with a whizzing sound.
    • n whir The buzzing or whirring sound made by a quickly revolving wheel, a partridge's wings, etc.
    • n whir A turn; commotion.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Whir hwėr a sound from rapid whirling
    • v.i Whir to whirl round with a noise
    • v.t Whir (Shak.) to hurry away with a whizzing sound:—pr.p. whir′ring; pa.t. and pa.p. whirred
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Perhaps of imitative origin; cf. D. hvirre, to whirl, and E. hurr, hurry, whirl,.


In literature:

Small grass bucks and hares bounded past me; birds came whirring by.
"African Camp Fires" by Stewart Edward White
A partridge or two whirred across the path from copse to meadow.
"Jaffery" by William J. Locke
You saw him leaning on the plow handle to watch the whirring flight of a partridge across the meadow.
"Half Portions" by Edna Ferber
The heat, the whir of the machines, the heaviness of the atmosphere, and the lint are at first overpowering to a visitor.
"Making Both Ends Meet" by Sue Ainslie Clark and Edith Wyatt
But as the night thickened there had been a whirring in the air not far away.
"The Forest Runners" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Red squirrels, in all directions, alternately whirred their rattles and chattered in an ecstasy of rage.
"The Silent Places" by Steward Edward White
In the street below the narrow windows surface cars whirred to and fro and clanged their bells.
"Winnie Childs" by C. N. Williamson
The clock whirred before striking the hour.
"Prose Fancies" by Richard Le Gallienne
Suddenly there was a rapid, rushing sound in the rear; a whirring echo; a suppressed cry, and a heavy splash far below.
"Idle Hour Stories" by Eugenia Dunlap Potts
Spin, sing with humming whir, the wheel goes round and round.
"The Little Colonel's Hero" by Annie Fellows Johnston

In poetry:

"When on whir
Of Tecbir
Allah's wrath flies,
And the power
Of the Giaour
A blasted leaf lies!
"Abu Midjan" by George MacDonald
'Lived, forgetting toil and sorrow,
Ever fair and ever new;
Whirring round the dear old woodland,
Feeding on the honey-dew.
"The Legend of La Brea" by Charles Kingsley
And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words
"A Late Walk" by Robert Frost
The startled quail in covies whir
From 'neath your feet as on you stray
Along the narrow thread-like path,
This cool October day.
"Through October Fields" by James Edwin Campbell
Plucked the fallen ceiba-cotton,
Whirred away to build his nest,
Hung at last, with happy humming,
Round some flower he fancied best.
"The Legend of La Brea" by Charles Kingsley
A voiceful wind, instinct with life,
Swept its wild harp's exultant strings,
And all the scented air was rife
With whir of cleaving wings.
"A Contrast" by Cicely Fox Smith

In news:

Head pounding with the rush of vehicles whirring across the pavement directly above.
One of the reasons I adore ambient music is that it can draw your attention to a whole medley of sounds whirring along in otherwise complacent spaces.
As Cameras Whir, The Bronte Novels Come Into Focus.
The whirring sound of saws filled the air, but underneath, one could hear the beating of a drum.
There was a time that I loved the sound of a whirring blender on a hot summer afternoon.
Computing Without a Whirring Drive.
Video slot machines started whirring Friday at Aqueduct race track in Queens after a decade of controversy.
ST LOUIS (AP) — The gentle whir of passing barges is as much a part of life in St Louis, Missouri as the Gateway Arch and the Cardinals.
He had a tie pin made that not only looked like a chain saw but actually made a whirring sound and moved when he pressed a button.
The cool nights diminish the whirring of air-conditioners.
Summer ends in a whir of wings in my yard.
ST LOUIS — The gentle whir of passing barges is as much a part of life in St Louis as the Gateway Arch and the Cardinals, a constant, almost soothing backdrop to a community intricately intertwined with the Mississippi River.
ST LOUIS (November 17, 2012)--The gentle whir of passing barges is as much a part of life in St Louis as the Gateway Arch and the Cardinals and serves as a constant backdrop to a community intricately intertwined with the Mississippi River.
The women of the Martin-Lanctot clan keep the family stories whirring, the energy positive, the household warm and welcoming.
Guess who found herself sitting in her car on the side of Highway 23 Saturday afternoon with a car in back of her with whirly lights on top of it.