Definitions

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

  • noun Prison.
  • intransitive verb To pass an implement through (a liquid, for example), usually in circular motions, so as to mix or cool the contents.
  • intransitive verb To use an implement to move or rearrange the fuel in (a fire) to increase light or heat.
  • intransitive verb To add or mix in (an ingredient, for example) into a liquid or mixture by moving an implement.
  • intransitive verb To mix together the ingredients of (a liquid, for example) before cooking or use by moving an implement.
  • intransitive verb To move or pass (an implement) through a liquid in order to mix or cool the contents.
  • intransitive verb To cause to move or shift, especially slightly or with irregular motion.
  • intransitive verb To cause to become active; bestir.
  • intransitive verb To excite strong feelings in or rouse, as from indifference: synonym: provoke.
  • intransitive verb To provoke deliberately; incite. Often used with up.
  • intransitive verb To change position slightly.
  • intransitive verb To start to move, especially in rising from sleep.
  • intransitive verb To move about actively or busily.
  • intransitive verb To move away from a customary or usual place or position.
  • intransitive verb To stir or mix a liquid or mixture.
  • intransitive verb To be capable of being stirred.
  • intransitive verb To happen or begin.
  • intransitive verb To be roused or affected by strong feelings.
  • noun A stirring, mixing, or poking movement.
  • noun A slight movement.
  • noun An excited reaction or commotion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Movement; action.
  • noun A state of motion, activity, briskness, bustle, or the like; the confusion and tumult of many persons in action.
  • noun Commotion; excitement; tumult: as, his appearance on the scene created quite a stir.
  • noun Motion; impulse; emotion; feeling.
  • noun A poke; a jog.
  • noun A house of correction; a lockup; a prison.
  • To move; change the position or situation of: as, to stir hand or foot.
  • To set in motion; agitate; disturb.
  • To move briskly; bestir.
  • To cause the particles or parts of to change place in relation to each other by agitating with the hand or an implement: as, to stir the fire with a poker; to stir one's coffee with a spoon.
  • To brandish; flourish.
  • To bring into notice or discussion; agitate; debate; moot.
  • To rouse, as from sleep or inaction; awaken.
  • To move; excite; rouse.
  • To incite; instigate; set on.
  • To excite; provoke; foment; bring about: as, to stir up a mutiny; to stir up contention.
  • To rouse to action; stimulate; quicken: as, to stir up the mind.
  • To pass from rest or inaction to motion or action; move; budge: as, they dare not stir; to stir abroad.
  • To be in motion; be in a state of activity; be on the move or go; be active: as, to be continually stirring.
  • To be in circulation; be current; be on foot.
  • To use an instrument or the hand for making a disturbing or agitating motion, as in a liquid.
  • To be roused; be excited; disturb or agitate one's self.
  • noun Sir.

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

  • intransitive verb To move; to change one's position.
  • intransitive verb To be in motion; to be active or bustling; to exert or busy one's self.

Etymologies

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

[Short for Romani stariben, stirapen : star, variant of astar, to seize, causative of ast, to remain, stop (probably akin to Prakrit atthaï, he sits, from earlier Middle Indic *āsthāti, he remains, from Sanskrit ātiṣṭhati , he stands by, remains on : ā-, near, to, at + tiṣṭati, sthā-, he stands; see sthā- in Indo-European roots) + Romani -ben, n. suff.]

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

[Middle English stiren, from Old English styrian, to excite, agitate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English styrian

Examples

  • Put the sugar, water and glucose over the fire; stir till the sugar is dissolved; wash down the sides of the saucepan with a cloth or the fingers dipped in cold water, cover and let boil three or four minutes, then uncover and let cook to 275° F. (when a little is cooled and chewed it clings but does not stick to the teeth) add the butter and peanuts and _stir constantly_ until the peanuts are nicely browned (or are of the color of well roasted peanuts).

    Chocolate and Cocoa Recipes and Home Made Candy Recipes

  • "During the call, he expressed surprise that his comments had created what he called a stir," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

  • "During the call, he expressed surprise that his comments had created what he called a stir," the official said.

    Dose.ca Music briefs

  • "During the call, he expressed surprise that his comments had created what he called a stir," the official said.

    Taipei Times

  • "During the call, he expressed surprise that his comments had created what he called a stir," the official said.

    Channel NewsAsia Front Page News

  • "During the call, he expressed surprise that his comments had created what he called a stir," the official said.

    The Age News Headlines

  • "During the call, he expressed surprise that his comments had created what he called a stir," the official said.

    Raw Story

  • "During the call, he expressed surprise that his comments had created what he called a stir," the official said.

    Channel NewsAsia Front Page News

  • "During the call, he expressed surprise that his comments had created what he called a stir," the official said.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

  • "During the call, he expressed surprise that his comments had created what he called a stir," the official said.

    canada.com Top Stories

Comments

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  • Stir in the sense of moving around vs. being locked up.

    June 20, 2008

  • Slang for prison, hence stir crazy

    June 20, 2008

  • But wait -- being in the stir is to be in prison, no?

    June 21, 2008

  • I thought it was just in stir.

    June 21, 2008

  • In stir it is, sir.

    June 21, 2008