AskDefine | Define agitate

Dictionary Definition



1 try to stir up public opinion [syn: foment, stir up]
2 cause to be agitated, excited, or roused; "The speaker charged up the crowd with his inflammatory remarks" [syn: rouse, turn on, charge, commove, excite, charge up] [ant: calm]
3 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; "The liberal party pushed for reforms"; "She is crusading for women's rights"; "The Dean is pushing for his favorite candidate" [syn: crusade, fight, press, campaign, push]
4 move very slightly; "He shifted in his seat" [syn: stir, shift, budge]
5 move or cause to move back and forth; "The chemist shook the flask vigorously"; "My hands were shaking" [syn: shake]
6 change the arrangement or position of [syn: vex, disturb, commove, shake up, stir up, raise up]

User Contributed Dictionary



agitatus, p. p. of agitare to put in motion, fr. agere to move: compare with French agiter. See Act, Agent.


a RP /ˈæ.dʒɪ.teɪt/ /"a.dZI.teIt/ a WEAE /ˈæ.ʤɪ.tet/


  1. To move with a violent, irregular action; as, the wind agitates the sea; to agitate water in a vessel. ``Winds . . . agitate the air.'' --Cowper.
  2. To move or actuate. [R.] --Thomson.
  3. To stir up; to disturb or excite; to perturb; as, he was greatly agitated.
    The mind of man is agitated by various passions. --Johnson.
  4. To discuss with great earnestness; to debate; as, a controversy hotly agitated. --Boyle.
  5. To revolve in the mind, or view in all its aspects; to contrive busily; to devise; to plot; as, politicians agitate desperate designs.


To move with a violent, irregular action
To move or actuate
To stir up, to disturb or excite
To discuss with great earnestness; to debate
To revolve in the mind, or view in all its aspects




Extensive Definition

Agitation may refer to:
  • emotional state of excitement or restlessness
    • psychomotor agitation, an extreme form of the above, which can be a side effect of antipsychotic medication
  • agitation (action), putting into motion by shaking or stirring
  • political agitation, political activities in which an agitator urges people to do something
  • Agitated, a B-Side from the band Muse
agitate in German: Agitation
agitate in Slovak: Agitácia
agitate in Finnish: Agitaatio

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

actuate, afflict, air, argue, arouse, assail, attack, beat, beat up, blow the coals, bother, bounce, broach, bug, burden, campaign, canvass, churn, churn up, concern, concuss, consider, convulse, debate, disarrange, discept, discombobulate, discomfit, discomfort, discompose, disconcert, dispute, disquiet, distract, distress, disturb, drive, electrify, embroil, exasperate, excite, fan, fan the flame, feed the fire, ferment, fire, flurry, fluster, flutter, foment, frazzle, fret, fuss, give concern, heat, heat up, impassion, impel, incense, incite, inflame, instigate, irritate, jar, joggle, jolt, jounce, load with care, moot, move, nettle, paddle, peeve, perturb, perturbate, pique, press, promote, provoke, psych, push, put to it, put up to, rally, rattle, rile, ripple, rock, roil, roughen, rouse, ruffle, rumple, set on, shake, shake up, shock, sic on, spook, stagger, stir, stir the embers, stir up, swirl, thrash out, throw, throw into confusion, tickle, trouble, unhinge, unnerve, unsettle, untune, upset, ventilate, whet, whip, whip up, whisk, work up
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