Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
1. To turn in the opposite direction very quickly or suddenly. I whirled around when I heard someone say my name, but there was no one there. The police car whirled around on the road and began blaring its siren.
2. To cause or force someone or something to turn or move in the opposite direction very quickly or suddenly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "whirl" and "around." I whirled around the television to access the AV inputs on the back. She whirled the child around and started performing the Heimlich maneuver on him.
3. To cause or force someone or something to spin in circles very quickly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "whirl" and "around." A small motor inside whirls around the top part of the toy. In this game, you put on a blindfold while someone whirls you around, then you try to pin the tail on a picture of a donkey on the other side of the room.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.