Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

give it a whirl

To try something (often for the first time as a means of forming an opinion about it). A: "Do you want to try driving my car, to see how you like it?" B: "Yeah, sure, I'll give it a whirl." I don't usually like hot tea, but it's so cold out that I gave it a whirl today.
See also: give, whirl

in a whirl

1. In a preoccupied, disconnected, or unfocused state of mind. I was in a whirl leaving the doctor's office, unable to come to grips with the diagnosis she had just given me. The actor says he has been in a whirl following the overwhelming positive reaction to his latest film.
2. In a state of intense, chaotic activity. For all the build up to Christmas each year, I find that it always goes by in a whirl and is suddenly over before you know it.
See also: whirl

whirling dervish

A person displaying a huge, boundless amount of energy. A reference to the dervishes, members of an order of Sufi Muslims in Turkey, some of which are known for their ceremonies in which they perform a whirling dance as a devotional act. I feel uneasy around small, boisterous children, so my cousin's party was really unpleasant, having so many of these whirling dervishes around. The team's captain, a six-foot-tall whirling dervish, has been instrumental in their success over the past year.
See also: whirl

give something a try

 and give something a go; give something a whirl; give something a shot
to make a try at something. Why don't you give it a go and see if you like it?
See also: give, try

whirl around

to turn around very quickly. I tapped him on the shoulder and he whirled around to see who it was. Todd whirled around and grabbed Max by the wrists.
See also: around, whirl

whirl someone or something around

to turn someone or something around quickly. I grabbed him by the shoulder and whirled him around to face me. I whirled around the book display and found what I wanted.
See also: around, whirl

give something a whirl

Make a brief or experimental try, as in I've never made a pie but I'll give it a whirl. [Colloquial; late 1800s]
See also: give, something, whirl

give something a whirl

If you give something a whirl, you try it in order to see whether you like it or are good at it. I'd never tried acupuncture before so I thought, why not give it a whirl? Later, when Helen invited Dawn to invest in the business, she decided to give it a whirl.
See also: give, something, whirl

give it a whirl

give it a try. informal
1979 Snoo Wilson A Greenish Man You've nothing to lose. Give it a whirl, try it for a month.
See also: give, whirl

give something a ˈwhirl

(informal) try something, to see if it is enjoyable, interesting, etc: I’ve never had Indonesian food but I’ll give it a whirl.
See also: give, something, whirl

in a ˈwhirl

confused and excited: My mind was in a whirl as I realized that this decision would change our lives.
See also: whirl

whirling dervish

Boundless energy. Dervishes are members of a mendicant religious order of Sufi Moslems. Part of their worship is a trance-inducing ritual in which the men, who wear billowing white skirts whirl in circles meant to replicate planets revolving around the sun. “Whirling dervish” became a metaphor for nonstop energy, used in such ways as “He dashed through the hardware store, then ran home and cleaned out the garage and then built shelves along one wall, all before lunch—he was a regular whirling dervish.”
See also: whirl
References in periodicals archive ?
We know that all good christians [sic] and decent citizens love the Whirl for its daring exposure of crime and attempt to lessen it by mere exposure.
The semantics of WHIRL are best described in terms of substitutions.
The Whirl advertises itself as "An Uninterrupted Crime Fighting Publication Since 1938.
After analysing the problem, it was decided to modify the outer shape of the whirl pump body on quite different way.
Whirl Wet continuously self-cleans and, water use is minimal.
The Whirl's Thomas has filed suit against Greene, Townsend and Sims in a complaint alleging that the X tra has unfairly duplicated the format of The Whirl and stolen vital trade secrets.
20, 2008, Baskin-Robbins invited ice cream lovers from all flavor affiliations to vote with their taste buds and choose between Baskin-Robbins two new election-inspired flavors: Whirl of Change and Straight Talk Crunch.
The Whirl's Thomas has filed suit against Greene, Town send and Sims in a complaint alleging that the X tra has unfairly duplicated the format of the Whirl and stolen vital trade secrets.
Suddenly, they begin to whirl, their skirts billow, their arms rise and the room is a blur of controlled frenzy.
In a blender, whirl 3 cups sliced peeled ripe peaches, 3/4 cup canned peach nectar, 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (to taste), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon almond extract until smooth.
In a blender container, whirl together all ingredients until thick and smooth.
Accompanied by a reed pipe, the dancers raise their arms towards heaven and whirl in a counter-clockwise direction.
In a blender, whirl 3 tablespoons coriander seeds and 2 tablespoons fennel seeds until finely ground.
They begin to whirl counterclockwise, with the right foot stepping across the left, and the left coming around to meet the right.