- a person who stirs up others in order to upset the status quo and further a political, social, or other cause: The boss said he would fire any union agitators.
- a machine or device for agitating and mixing.
Origin of agitator
Examples from the Web for agitator
As an agitator of stereotypes, how did you feel about The Birth of a Nation?Spike Lee on Blackface, ‘Oldboy,’ ’12 Years a Slave,’ and The Brooklyn Nets
October 31, 2013
I saw myself as an advocate and agitator and behind-the-scenes lobbyist on some very minor aspects of it.Can This Blogger Unseat Barbara Boxer?
April 6, 2010
To think the mother was afraid he would turn out an agitator!The Widow O'Callaghan's Boys
You'd never dream that he was an agitator or that he'd want to lead a rebellion.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
He understands the Irish agitator, but the English Separatist beats him.Ireland as It Is
Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
Since he was a boy firing a locomotive engine, he has been an agitator.The Debs Decision
This is hardly the tone of the agitator as known to us to-day.Victorian Worthies
George Henry Blore
- a person who agitates for or against a cause, etc
- a device, machine, or part used for mixing, shaking, or vibrating a material, usually a fluid
Word Origin and History for agitator
1640s, agent noun from agitate (v.); originally "elected representative of the common soldiers in Cromwell's army," who brought grievances (chiefly over lack of pay) to their officers and Parliament.
Political sense is first recorded 1734, and negative overtones began with its association with Irish patriots such as Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847). Historically, in American English, often with outside and referring to people who stir up a supposedly contented class or race. Latin agitator meant "a driver, a charioteer."