• WordNet 3.6
    • n whirler a revolving mechanism
    • n whirler a dervish whose actions include ecstatic dancing and whirling
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Whirler One who, or that which, whirls.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n whirler In ceramics, a primitive horizontal wheel turned by one hand while the other hand of the potter fashions the clay; also a revolving wheel used by decorators in painting bands of slip, color, or gold on the ware; a decorating-wheel. See tournette.
    • n whirler A revolving derrick used in loading iron ore on cars, or transferring it from cars to a vessel.
    • n whirler An instrument designed to furnish a navigator with an artificial horizon when at sea. It is also known as Troughton's top, after its inventor, and spinner.
    • n whirler One who or that which whirls.
    • n whirler In rope-manuf., one of the revolving hooks to which the hemp is fastened in the operations of twisting it into rope-yarn or small rope.
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In literature:

Forty-eight hours a week Mary Beechinor sat before her whirler.
"Tales of the Five Towns" by Arnold Bennett
Mademoiselle, you are a regular whirler.
"Marie Bashkirtseff (From Childhood to Girlhood)" by Marie Bashkirtseff
A vertical wheel for turning the three whirlers of a small rope-machine.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth