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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ I saw it again that morning: the milk-float, whirring into another day.
▪ Once Blanche saw his hands whirring over each other, she knew there was some hope.
▪ Some of them take a second or two to stop whirring and clacking as they wind tape off a drum.
▪ The whirring of our locust jaws is what keeps you awake.
▪ The fans whir in the background, filling the locker room with white noise.
▪ The pesticides treadmill is still whirring away.
▪ They can speak, via a whirring mechanical voice box, and they have mechanical human hands rather than paws.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Whir \Whir\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Whirred; p. pr. & vb. n. Whirring.] [Perhaps of imitative origin; cf. D. hvirre to whirl, and E. hurr, hurry, whirl. ???.] 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.


Whir \Whir\, v. t. [See Whir to whiz.] To hurry a long with a whizzing sound. [R.]

This world to me is like a lasting storm, Whirring me from my friends.


Whir \Whir\, n. A buzzing or whizzing sound produced by rapid or whirling motion; as, the whir of a partridge; the whir of a spinning wheel.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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.


n. (alternative spelling of whirr English) vb. (alternative spelling of whirr English)

  1. n. sound of something in rapid motion; "whir of a bird's wings"; "the whir of the propellers" [syn: whirr, whirring, birr]

  2. [also: whirring, whirred]

  1. v. make a soft swishing sound; "the motor whirred"; "the car engine purred" [syn: whizz, whiz, whirr, birr, purr]

  2. [also: whirring, whirred]


WHIR (1230 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a News Talk Information format. Licensed to Danville, Kentucky, USA. The station is currently owned by Hometown Broadcastng of Danville Inc. WHIR features The Charlie Perry Show which can be heard Monday through Friday from 6-9 am. Sean Hannity, Dave Ramsey, and other nationwide syndicated shows are also carried, along with area and local sporting events.

Usage examples of "whir".

The springs snapped to life and the armatures began moving, and soon the dark spider was alive, whirring and purring under its own mechanical power.

All the sounds were harsh and grating--the whirring of grasshoppers and locusts, the chattering of parrots and laughing-jackasses, the cawing of cockatoos and scuttling of iguanas through the coarse dry blady grass.

Above them came a whirring noise, and Burl looked up to see the masts withdrawing into the building, their discs presumably left flat and directionless.

With a glorious burst of unearthly song, the martlet seized the string in its talons and, wings whirring, flew straight up into the sky.

Where a human memory might have failed, the whirring microcircuits had linked the three items, recalled that up to his exposure by his wife in 1955 Roschmann had used the name of Fritz Wegener, and reported accordingly.

At that moment, above the slight hum and swishy whir of the Neutralizer, Ardlan heard a knock at the door.

It was not quite a twittering nor a whir, and it was not unlike a pet shop when the bell tinkles as you step in and a chorus of parakeets and doves starts up in coos and light shrieks.

As they watched, the police paravane lifted free of the plain, angled south, whirred to a tiny glinting dot in the cloudless bowl of sky, then vanished completely.

With a whirring of strained servomotors, domed, rectangular, and humaniform heads swiveled, audio sensors perked up, and countless photoreceptors came into sharp focus.

The photoreceptors whirred audibly in their sockets, scanning left to right.

His first act was to take down the alarm clock and stifle its prolonged whirring under the pillows and blankets.

The only real effort shown by the protestors was their jockeying attempts to get their faces in front of the many television cameras that whirred up at them from the sidewalk.

Mavranos plodded toward the front porch, the only sound was the rackety whir of an air conditioner.

His mind was whirring, trying to figure out how to beat those odds and return to find protection, with the seeress or Uncle Padrin if need be.

Graham was standing before his mirror, his electric shaver whirring busily, when the telephone shrilled.