Whirl"wind` (?), n. [Cf. Icel. hvirfilvindr, Sw. hvirfvelvind, Dan. hvirvelvind, G. wirbelwind. See Whirl, and Wind, n.]
A violent windstorm of limited extent, as the tornado, characterized 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.
⇒ Some meteorologists apply the word whirlwind to the larger rotary storm also, such as cyclones.
Fig.: A body of objects sweeping violently onward.
of hounds and hunters."
© Webster 1913.