To swirl is to turn in circles or spirals, the way a leaf caught in a whirlpool swirls, or a toy duck swirls in the bathtub as you empty the water out.

Smoke might swirl up from your campfire, keeping the mosquitos that swirl through the air nearby from biting you. Or you can swirl on a carnival ride that spins you in circles until you step back onto the ground and the world swirls for a while, until you regain your balance. Swirl is a noun, too, as in a swirl of dust. It was originally Scottish for "whirlpool."

Definitions of swirl

v turn in a twisting or spinning motion

“The leaves swirled in the autumn wind”
twiddle, twirl, whirl
Type of:
go around, revolve, rotate
turn on or around an axis or a center

v flow in a circular current, of liquids

eddy, purl, whirl, whirlpool
Type of:
course, feed, flow, run
move along, of liquids

n the shape of something rotating rapidly

convolution, vortex, whirl
Type of:
round shape
a shape that is curved and without sharp angles

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