Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To cause to move with violence or sudden force.
  • intransitive verb To upset; disturb.
  • intransitive verb To arouse interest in (a cause, for example) by use of the written or spoken word; discuss or debate.
  • intransitive verb To stir up public interest in a cause.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • verb change the arrangement or position of
  • verb move very slightly
  • verb 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
  • verb move or cause to move back and forth
  • verb try to stir up public opinion
  • verb cause to be agitated, excited, or roused

Etymologies

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

[Latin agitāre, agitāt-, frequentative of agere, to drive, do; see ag- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin agitatus, past participle of agitare ("to put in motion"), from agere ("to move"). Compare with French agiter. See act, agent.

Examples

Comments

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  • This word always makes me think of Frederick Douglass.

    October 21, 2008

  • (verb): to excite, to disturb, to stir up

    April 6, 2010