v. swirled, swirl·ing, swirls
1. To move with a twisting or whirling motion; eddy. See Synonyms at turn.
2. To be dizzy or disoriented.
3. To be arranged in a spiral, whorl, or twist.
1. To cause to move with a twisting or whirling motion: swirled the drink with her straw.
2. To form into or arrange in a spiral, whorl, or twist.
1. A whirling or eddying motion or mass: a swirl of white water.
2. Something, such as a curl of hair, that coils, twists, or whirls.
3. Whirling confusion or disorder: "high-pressure farce built around the swirl of mistaken identities" (Jay Carr).
[Middle English swyrl, eddy, probably of Low German or Scandinavian origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.