Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To cause to move with violence or sudden force.
  • transitive v. To upset; disturb: was agitated by the alarming news.
  • transitive v. To arouse interest in (a cause, for example) by use of the written or spoken word; debate.
  • intransitive v. To stir up public interest in a cause: agitate for a tax reduction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To move with a violent, irregular action; as, the wind agitates the sea; to agitate water in a vessel.
  • v. To move or actuate. --Thomson.
  • v. To stir up; to disturb or excite; to perturb; as, he was greatly agitated.
  • v. To discuss with great earnestness; to debate; as, a controversy hotly agitated. --Boyle.
  • v. To revolve in the mind, or view in all its aspects; to contrive busily; to devise; to plot; as, politicians agitate desperate designs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To move with a violent, irregular action
  • transitive v. To move or actuate.
  • transitive v. To stir up; to disturb or excite; to perturb.
  • transitive v. To discuss with great earnestness; to debate.
  • transitive v. To revolve in the mind, or view in all its aspects; to contrive busily; to devise; to plot.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move or actuate; maintain the action of.
  • To move to and fro; impart regular motion to.
  • To move or force into violent irregular action; shake or move briskly; excite physically: as, the wind agitates the sea; to agitate water in a vessel.
  • To disturb, or excite into tumult; perturb.
  • To discuss: debate; call attention to by speech or writing: as, to agitate the question of free trade.
  • To consider on all sides; revolve in the mind, or view in all its aspects; plan.
  • Synonyms and To rouse, stir up, ruffle, discompose.5 and To canvass, deliberate upon.
  • To engage in agitation; arouse or attempt to arouse public interest, as in some political or social question: as, he set out to agitate in the country.

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

  • v. change the arrangement or position of
  • v. move very slightly
  • v. exert oneself continuously, vigorously, or obtrusively to gain an end or engage in a crusade for a certain cause or person; be an advocate for
  • v. move or cause to move back and forth
  • v. try to stir up public opinion
  • v. cause to be agitated, excited, or roused

Etymologies

Latin agitāre, agitāt-, frequentative of agere, to drive, do; see ag- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin agitatus, past participle of agitare ("to put in motion"), from agere ("to move"). Compare with French agiter. See act, agent. (Wiktionary)

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