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3 definitions found
 for whirligig
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Whirligig \Whirl"i*gig\, n. [Whirl + gig.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. A child's toy, spun or whirled around like a wheel upon an
        axis, or like a top. --Johnson.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Anything which whirls around, or in which persons or
        things are whirled about, as a frame with seats or wooden
        [1913 Webster]
              With a whirligig of jubilant mosquitoes spinning
              about each head.                      --G. W. Cable.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. A mediaeval instrument for punishing petty offenders,
        being a kind of wooden cage turning on a pivot, in which
        the offender was whirled round with great velocity.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. (Zool.) Any one of numerous species of beetles belonging
        to Gyrinus and allied genera. The body is firm, oval or
        boatlike in form, and usually dark colored with a
        bronzelike luster. These beetles live mostly on the
        surface of water, and move about with great celerity in a
        gyrating, or circular, manner, but they are also able to
        dive and swim rapidly. The larva is aquatic. Called also
        weaver, whirlwig, and whirlwig beetle.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: 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" [syn: top, whirligig,
           teetotum, spinning top]
      2: a large, rotating machine with seats for children to ride or
         amusement [syn: carousel, carrousel, merry-go-round,
         roundabout, whirligig]
      v 1: whirl or spin like a whirligig

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  42 Moby Thesaurus words for "whirligig":
     April showers, Ferris wheel, Proteus, carousel, chameleon,
     chute-the-chutes, chutes, cloud shapes, disk, flying horses,
     gyrate, gyre, kaleidoscope, mercury, merry-go-round, moon,
     pirouette, purl, quicksilver, roller, roller coaster,
     rolling stone, rotator, rotor, roundabout, rundle, seesaw,
     shifting sands, swing, teeter-totter, the weather, top, twirl,
     water, weather vane, weathercock, wheel, wheel of fortune, whip,
     whirl, whirlabout, whirler

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