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1. A violent windstorm of limited extent, as the tornado, characterised by an inward spiral motion of the air with an upward current in the center; a vortex of air. It usually has a rapid progressive motion. The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods. And drowns the villages. (bryant)

Some meteorologists apply the word whirlwind to the larger rotary storm also, such as cyclones.

2. A body of objects sweeping violently onward. The whirlwind of hounds and hunters.

Origin: Cf. Icel. Hvirfilvindr, Sw. Hvirfvelvind, Dan. Hvirvelvind, G. Wirbelwind. See Whirl, and Wind.