whirlwind, cyclone, typhoon, hurricane, tornado, waterspout, twister share the basic notion of a rotary motion of the wind.
Whirlwind is applied to a small windstorm which begins with an inward and upward spiral motion of the lower air and is followed by an outward and upward spiral motion until, usually, there is a progressive motion at all levels.
Cyclone, in technical use, is applicable to a system of winds that rotate, counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere, about a center of low atmospheric pressure; such a system of winds originating in the tropics (a tropical cyclone) may rotate at the rate of 75 miles per hour or more, sometimes exceeding 200 miles per hour.
Typhoon is used of a severe tropical cyclone in the region of the western Pacific ocean.
A tropical cyclone in the tropical north Atlantic and tropical western Pacific, with winds rarely exceeding 150 miles an hour, occasionally moving into temperate latitudes, is called a hurricane. In popular use, especially in the midwestern U.S., cyclone may take the place of tornado, the usual technical term, for an extremely violent whirling wind which is accompanied by a funnel-shaped cloud and which moves with great speed in a narrow path over a stretch of territory, often causing great destruction.
A waterspout is a tornado that occurs over water.
Twister is a familiar term often applied to a whirlwind, tornado, or waterspout.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Whirlwind — may refer to: * An atmospheric phenomenon, see whirlwind (atmospheric phenomenon) * whirlwind, an ancient chinese siege weapon * Whirlwind , an episode in the World War Two documentary The World at War concerning the allied bombing of Germany.… …   Wikipedia

  • Whirlwind — Whirlwind, également appelé L’Homme toupie en français dans les publications Arédit/Artima ou Cyclone dans L’Intégrale Avengers de Marvel France, est un super vilain appartenant à l’univers de Marvel Comics. Il a été créé par Stan Lee et Jack… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Whirlwind — Whirl wind , n. [Cf. Icel. hvirfilvindr, Sw. hvirfvelvind, Dan. hvirvelvind, G. wirbelwind. See {Whirl}, and {Wind}, n.] [1913 Webster] 1. A violent windstorm of limited extent, as the tornado, characterized by an inward spiral motion of the air… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whirlwind — ► NOUN 1) a column of air moving rapidly round and round in a cylindrical or funnel shape. 2) a very energetic or tumultuous person or process. 3) (before another noun ) very rapid and unexpected: a whirlwind romance. ● (sow the wind and) reap… …   English terms dictionary

  • whirlwind — [hwʉrl′wind΄, wʉrl′wind΄] n. [ME whirlwynd, prob. based on ON hvirfilvindr] 1. a current of air whirling violently upward in a spiral motion around a more or less vertical axis that has a forward motion 2. anything resembling a whirlwind, as in… …   English World dictionary

  • whirlwind — mid 14c., from WHIRL (Cf. whirl) (v.) + WIND (Cf. wind) (n.), probably on model of O.N. hvirfilvindr …   Etymology dictionary

  • whirlwind — [adj] very fast cyclonic, hasty, headlong, hurricane, impetuous, impulsive, lightning, quick, rapid, rash, short, speedy, swift, tornado; concepts 588,798 Ant. slow …   New thesaurus

  • whirlwind — [[t](h)wɜ͟ː(r)lwɪnd[/t]] whirlwinds 1) N COUNT A whirlwind is a tall column of air which spins round and round very fast and moves across the land or sea. 2) N COUNT: usu sing, with supp, usu N of n You can describe a situation in which a lot of… …   English dictionary

  • Whirlwind — Der Whirlwind 1 im Computer History Museum, Kalifornien Der Whirlwind Computer (von engl. Whirlwind für Wirbelwind ) wurde von 1945 bis 1952 am Massachusetts Institute of Technology nach einem während des Zweiten Weltkrieges vergebenen Auftrag… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • whirlwind — /hwerrl wind , werrl /, n. 1. any of several relatively small masses of air rotating rapidly around a more or less vertical axis and advancing simultaneously over land or sea, as a dust devil, tornado, or waterspout. 2. anything resembling a… …   Universalium

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