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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Whirlwind \Whirl"wind`\, n. [Cf. Icel. hvirfilvindr, Sw. hvirfvelvind, Dan. hvirvelvind, G. wirbelwind. See Whirl, and Wind, n.] [1913 Webster] 1. A violent windstorm of limited extent, as the tornado, characterized by an inward spiral motion of the air with an upward current in the center; a vortex of air. It usually has a rapid progressive motion. [1913 Webster] The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods. And drowns the villages. --Bryant. [1913 Webster] Note: Some meteorologists apply the word whirlwind to the larger rotary storm also, such as cyclones. [1913 Webster] 2. Fig.: A body of objects sweeping violently onward. "The whirlwind of hounds and hunters." --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]