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2 definitions found
 for whirlwig
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 The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Whirlwig \Whirl"wig`\, n. [Cf. Earwig.] (Zool.)
     A whirligig.
     [1913 Webster]

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