whirlwind


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]
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