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 (wûr′lĭ-gĭg′, hwûr′-)
1. Any of various spinning toys.
2. A carousel; a merry-go-round.
3. Something that continuously whirls.
4. A whirligig beetle.

[Middle English whirlegigge : whirlen, whirl; see whirl + -gigge, something that rotates (possibly of Scandinavian origin; akin to gig).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Other Non-sporting Hobbies) any spinning toy, such as a top
2. another name for merry-go-round
3. anything that whirls about, spins, or moves in a circular or giddy way: the whirligig of social life.
4. (Other Non-sporting Hobbies) another name for windmill3
[C15: whirlegigge, from whirl + gig1]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈʰwɜr lɪˌgɪg, ˈwɜr-)

1. something that whirls or revolves.
2. a whirling motion or course.
3. a flighty person.
4. a merry-go-round; carousel.
5. a toy for whirling or spinning, as a top.
Also called whirl•a•bout (ˈʰwɜrl əˌbaʊt)
[1400–50; late Middle English whirlegigge. See whirl, gig1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.whirligig - a conical child's plaything tapering to a steel point on which it can be made to spinwhirligig - a conical child's plaything tapering to a steel point on which it can be made to spin; "he got a bright red top and string for his birthday"
humming top - a top that makes a humming noise as it spins
peg top - a pear-shaped top made of wood with a metal center pin
plaything, toy - an artifact designed to be played with
whip top, whipping top - a top that is spun by whipping
2.whirligig - a large, rotating machine with seats for children to ride or amusementwhirligig - a large, rotating machine with seats for children to ride or amusement
ride - a mechanical device that you ride for amusement or excitement
Verb1.whirligig - whirl or spin like a whirligig
spin, spin around, gyrate, reel, whirl - revolve quickly and repeatedly around one's own axis; "The dervishes whirl around and around without getting dizzy"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈwɜːlɪgɪg] N
1. (= toy) → molinete m
2. (= merry-go-round) → tiovivo m
3. (also whirligig beetle) → girino m
4. (fig) → vicisitudes fpl; (= confusion) → movimiento m confuso
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


n (= top)Kreisel m; (= roundabout)Karussell nt, → Ringelspiel nt; (fig)(ewiges) Wechselspiel nt
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
Aquatic floated-turning performance among rigid bodies animals have been studied in whirligig beetles (Fish and Nicastro, 2003), boxfish (Walker, 2000), and more recently in a freshwater turtle, Chrysemys picta (Testudines, Emydidae) (Rivera et al., 2006).
Aquatic turning performance by the whirligig beetle: constraints on maneuverability by a rigid biological system.
The topics include the ghost mayfly, returning Salmonflies to the Logan River, the mystery of the spine-adorned caddisfly, encounter with Arctic black flies, a dragonfly hanging from a leaf, and in defense of whirligig beetles. Older children and young adults, as well as more general readers will find the stories fun and the science informative.
'Children of all ages get excited at seeing life under the microscope or magnifying glass, such as nymphs, phantom larvae, leeches and whirligig beetles.'
Spy shaggy ink cap mushrooms in the undergrowth, while whirligig beetles and pond skaters take to the water.
You may soon see dragonflies, water boatmen and whirligig beetles.
Whirligig beetles skitter in swirls along water surfaces worldwide.
The purpose of the present study was to determine whether temperature and hunger affect the decisions of whirligig beetles to group, and if so, how these two motivations are balanced.
Typical for whirligig beetles are the large aggregations that are found near the edge of the water (Heinrich and Vogt 1980), and, in general, the edge is preferred over the center.