Definition of skirl in English:

skirl

noun

  • A shrill, wailing sound, especially that of bagpipes.

    • ‘The weather hadn't improved much, and the skirls of snow carried on the wind chilled him to the bone.’
    • ‘And inspired once more, the great king strides forth to meet his destiny… Cue glorious sunset and skirl of bagpipes.’
    • ‘The skirl of the bagpipes provided a stirring backdrop, and his skin tingled with excitement.’
    • ‘Instead, with the skirl of the bagpipes and a thumping bass beat, on comes Flower of Scotland and we sing along as lustily as if we are at Murrayfield.’
    • ‘While the skirl of bagpipes gets his blood pumping, it is nothing compared to the roar of a football crowd.’
    • ‘But there should be more to it than the skirl of the bagpipe and the swirl of the plaid.’
    • ‘There's something about the skirl of a hundred pipers at sunset.’
    • ‘It was a great result and I gave a special skirl on the pipes.’
    • ‘Not a car horn or police siren could be heard amid the skirl of the pipes of the annual Tartan Day celebrations.’
    • ‘At that moment, from the field the fox has just left, there's the skirl of a hunting horn.’
    • ‘Charlie Kennedy needs to give his pipes a skirl and lead the charge.’
    • ‘And the stuttering, pseudo-Latino skirl of One More Tequila is entirely the wrong choice to close such an otherwise harmless record.’
    • ‘In the new post-Anderton age, the fireworks were quite puny and the brave pipers on the roof had their skirls lost in the wind.’
    • ‘The melancholy skirl of the bagpipes echoing down a misty glen made my spine tingle with a strong sense of déjà-vu.’
    • ‘Before the workers walked through the factory gates to the skirl of pipes, they were addressed by union officials.’
    • ‘At midnight he led all of us up and down the A64 to the skirl of the pipes, a memorable experience.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • (of bagpipes) make a shrill, wailing sound.

    • ‘The water is still, yachts bob gently at anchor, and sea-gulls skirl through the sky.’
    • ‘They displayed a different virtuosity following the skirling entrance of director Ron C. Wallace playing the bagpipes.’
    • ‘Off I set with kilt swirling, pipes skirling and feather bonnet flowing in what little wind there was.’
    • ‘No more tally-ho across the shires then, no more hunting horns skirling across the frosty banks of willows in the winter morning.’
    • ‘Wind instruments are pushed into their highest registers, while skirling, abrasive strings bulk out the textures.’
    • ‘Saluting the coffin after the service as pipers skirled a haunting lament, he looked devastated.’
    • ‘Call the number featured and a CD-rom will wing its way to you, no doubt with bagpipes skirling and free shortbread accompanying said disk.’
    • ‘He has just turned 24, though with his slight, 5'3 ‘frame, skirling falsetto voice and golden bangs, he looked not a day older than 12.’’
    • ‘Brass fanfares and skirling strings back Ashcroft's voice.’
    • ‘It's certainly true that the siren song skirling out from all that heather and tartan has proven irresistible to punter and celebrity alike.’
    • ‘Ponting seems to suggest that he is a lone piper skirling on a distant hill.’
    • ‘It has nothing to do with misty glens, fiery alcoholic drinks, or skirling pipe music.’

Origin

Late Middle English (as a verb): probably of Scandinavian origin; ultimately imitative.

Pronunciation:

skirl

/skərl/