Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A whirring sound.
  • n. Strong forward momentum; driving force.
  • intransitive v. To make a whirring sound.
  • n. See Table at currency.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. force, vigor, energy
  • n. a strong wind.
  • n. the force of the wind; rush, impetus, momentum, driving force
  • n. a thrust or push
  • n. a whirring noise
  • n. a strong trilling pronunciation
  • v. To make a whirring noise; make a noise like that of revolving wheels, or of millstones at work.
  • n. The currency of Ethiopia, divided into 100 santims

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A whirring sound, as of a spinning wheel.
  • n. A rush or impetus; force.
  • intransitive v. To make, or move with, a whirring noise, as of wheels in motion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a whirring noise; make a noise like that of revolving wheels, or of millstones at work.
  • n. A strong wind.
  • n. The force of the wind; impetus; momentum.
  • n. A thrust or push.
  • n. Force; vigor; energy.
  • n. A whirring noise.
  • n. Strong trilling pronunciation. See bur.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make a soft swishing sound
  • n. sound of something in rapid motion
  • n. the basic unit of money in Ethiopia; equal to 100 cents

Etymologies

Middle English bir, favorable wind, from Old Norse byrr; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.
Amharic bərr, from brr, to be white.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English bir ("favorable or strong wind; assault, blow strike, violence, fury; strength"), from Old English byre ("strong wind, storm"); cognate with Icelandic byrr ("sailing winds"), Albanian borë ("snow") and Latin borea ("North wind"). (Wiktionary)
From Amharic bir ("silver") (Wiktionary)

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