Word and Whirred

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Word and whirred are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words word and whirred, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

A word is a single unit of language that can be written or spoken. Words are put together following various rules of syntax into sentences. Word may be used in a more figurative manner to mean 1.) to promise something, as in to give one’s word 2.) to converse, as in to have a word 3.) to receive news, as in to get word of something. The word word is derived from the German wort, which means word.

Whirred is the past tense of the word whir, which means to make a vibrating noise like a buzz or hum. Whirred is a verb, related words are whir, whirs, whirring. The word whirred is derived from the Old Norse word hvirfla, which means to turn.


Weeks after music’s Blackout Tuesday, which sparked a plethora of heated, industry-wide conversations about systemic racism, companies and executives are still debating the use of the word “urban” in job titles, awards categories, and other facets of the music business. (Rolling Stone Magazine)

This explains why scriptures and sacred texts do not have a word for the modern concept of religion. (The Straits Times)

The phone rang and pinged and whirred that week, two years ago this month, while I unpacked a lifetime of inanimate objects. (The Phoenix New Times)

But in the intensive-care units set up for COVID-19, machines beeped and whirred in room after room of the sickest patients. (The Atlantic)

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