Definition of whir in English:


Line breaks: whir
Pronunciation: /wəː
(also whirr)

verb (whirs, whirring, whirred)

[no object]
  • (Of something rapidly rotating or moving to and fro) make a low, continuous, regular sound: the ceiling fans whirred in the smoky air
    More example sentences
    • This sound was the generator whirring to life once again.
    • The sounds of machines whirring and bells ringing could be heard as far away as a city block.
    • Next to me, Mr. Walker's camera whirred and clicked rapidly.


Back to top  
  • A whirring sound: the whir of the projector
    More example sentences
    • That is about the same level of noise produced by the whir of an air conditioner or the rumbling of average city traffic.
    • The rip of gunfire sounded above the whir of the blades.
    • The only sound was the soft whir of the ship around them.


late Middle English (in the sense 'move with a whirring sound'): probably of Scandinavian origin; compare with whirl.

More definitions of whir

Definition of whir in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little