American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To cause to move with violence or sudden force.
- v. To upset; disturb: was agitated by the alarming news.
- v. To arouse interest in (a cause, for example) by use of the written or spoken word; debate.
- v. To stir up public interest in a cause: agitate for a tax reduction.
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.
- v. To move with a violent, irregular action; as, the wind agitates the sea; to agitate water in a vessel.
- v. rare 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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To move with a violent, irregular action
- v. rare To move or actuate.
- v. To stir up; to disturb or excite; to perturb.
- v. To discuss with great earnestness; to debate.
- v. To revolve in the mind, or view in all its aspects; to contrive busily; to devise; to plot.
- 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
- From Latin agitatus, past participle of agitare ("to put in motion"), from agere ("to move"). Compare with French agiter. See act, agent. (Wiktionary)
- Latin agitāre, agitāt-, frequentative of agere, to drive, do; see ag- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The real question which this Society wishes to agitate is whether they do not furnish the best remedy for settling all disputes.”
“The story, though it will not greatly rouse or deeply agitate, is yet sufficiently interesting to excite and prolong the attention of the reader; and the phraseology is at once correct and appropriate.”
“People like the McLemores fear that Sam, her mother, and her mother's artist friend, Perry, are in the South to "agitate" and to shake up the dividing lines between black and white and blur it all to grey.”
“And then we're going to see this kind of agitate the atmosphere over the next couple of days. (inaudible) systems possible in areas that already have seen flooding, that may very well be a news flash weather story.”
“Meanwhile, the Warburgs demanded that American Jews not '' agitate '' against the Hitler government, or join the organized boycott.”
“It was clear to us at the White House that these parades were part of an organized movement to "agitate" in favour of a radical programme of preparedness.”
“You've messed about so long with men who merely 'agitate' and 'inaugurate,' that you've forgotten the kind who act first and talk afterwards.”
“Plot Shaftesbury taught how to "agitate" opinion, how to rouse this lagging attention, this dormant energy of the people at large; and his opponents learned the art from him.”
“He said AWB members were fearful and that the black group were "playing politics" and were there to "agitate" them.”
“I guess in order to not pay your taxes you have to not pay yourself as well.. .i say into the 'Washing Machine ". .because they" agitate "us and are always" spinning "things!. .next cycle is:" hang them out to DRY!”
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Key words from "The Training of a Public Speaker" by Grenville Kleiser (New York and London, 1920)
“A verb which denotes the frequent occurrence or repetition of an action, as . . . waggle from wag.” — Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia.
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