Definition of whirlwind in English:



  • 1A column of air moving rapidly around and around in a cylindrical or funnel shape.

    • ‘They can cause dust devils and whirlwinds, though these are nothing when compared to the immense dust storms that can occur.’
    • ‘Heading up to the top of the mountain for the afternoons finals the athletes were pummeled by high winds and dusty whirlwinds.’
    • ‘Arid, dusty Jijiga is built on a vast plain where even the smallest breeze creates wind devils - whirlwinds of dust that rise high into the sky.’
    • ‘For a desert people winds, rain, thunder, lightening, hurricanes, thunderbolts, whirlwinds, and other meteorological phenomena held tremendous fascination.’
    • ‘During certain weather conditions, the constant stream of air over hilly areas would produce small, electrically charged whirlwinds.’
    • ‘A tornado or whirlwind was spotted in north Pembrokeshire last week by a local tornado enthusiast.’
    • ‘A hot dry wind stirred up small whirlwinds of dust and sand, forcing her to squint.’
    • ‘He explained whirlwinds were formed in storm clouds.’
    • ‘The two aircraft encountered terrific up and down drafts, along with whirlwinds, frequently driving the planes to within 25-ft of the ground.’
    • ‘A tree was knocked over, roof tiles pulled away and some outbuilding's roofs even torn off when strong, sudden whirlwinds descended on the village on Monday morning.’
    tornado, hurricane, typhoon, cyclone, tropical storm, tropical cyclone, vortex
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    1. 1.1 Used in similes and metaphors to describe a very energetic or tumultuous person or process.
      ‘a whirlwind of activity’
      [as modifier] ‘a whirlwind romance’
      • ‘He would love to take a whirlwind ballpark tour, going to different stadiums all over the country.’
      • ‘Drinnen will savour the routine after a whirlwind two months.’
      • ‘I went to get water and other supplies at a whirlwind trip to the grocery store.’
      • ‘He then bought her a Ferrari and, after a whirlwind five-month romance, he jetted her off to Las Vegas to marry in a secret ceremony.’
      • ‘Barry's daughter, Sinead, becomes a traffic warden and has a whirlwind romance with a man Barry hates.’
      • ‘Diane and Derek had a whirlwind courtship of two years and the question of the day was, where exactly did the happy couple meet?’
      • ‘After a whirlwind week, the new City boss admitted his first match in charge was looming large…’
      • ‘It was such a idyllic setting, she could imagine herself having a whirlwind romance of sorts in Scotland.’
      • ‘What should we make of the latest whirlwind of diplomatic activity?’
      • ‘A lovestruck South African and a Rochdale bachelor have married after a whirlwind romance over the internet.’
      • ‘Bradford's Lord Mayor is celebrating the city's diversity by embarking on a whirlwind series of cultural diary dates.’
      • ‘We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Ohio to attend Joe's brother's wedding.’
      • ‘Erianne always set his senses on heightened alarm, even now when she was an emotional whirlwind.’
      • ‘It was a whirlwind romance little approved of by her family.’
      • ‘Theirs had been a real whirlwind romance - six weeks from their first meeting to their marriage.’
      • ‘In a brief whirlwind of activity the foundations were laid for the best railway anywhere in the world.’
      • ‘He's a grinning, bearded, furiously energetic human whirlwind, known to everyone as Poppa.’
      • ‘The couple enjoyed a whirlwind romance after meeting each other in a Los Angeles hotel lobby in February.’
      • ‘He met the wonderful Rosie and, after a whirlwind romance, they married.’
      • ‘The whirlwind tour of Walt Disney World began in Disney's MGM Studios.’
      rapid, lightning, overnight, instant, headlong, impulsive, breakneck, whistle-stop, fast-track, accelerated, meteoric, sudden, swift, fast, quick, speedy
      bedlam, madhouse, mayhem, maelstrom, babel, chaos, pandemonium, uproar, turmoil, turbulence, swirl, tumult, hurly-burly, commotion, disorder, jumble, disarray, confusion, seething mass, welter
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