[ aj-i-teyt ]
See synonyms for agitate on
verb (used with object),ag·i·tat·ed, ag·i·tat·ing.
  1. to move or force into violent, irregular action: The hurricane winds agitated the sea.

  2. to shake or move briskly: The machine agitated the mixture.

  1. to move to and fro; impart regular motion to.

  2. to disturb or excite emotionally; arouse; perturb: a crowd agitated to a frenzy by impassioned oratory; a man agitated by disquieting news.

  3. to call attention to by speech or writing; discuss; debate: to agitate the question.

  4. to consider on all sides; revolve in the mind; plan.

verb (used without object),ag·i·tat·ed, ag·i·tat·ing.
  1. to arouse or attempt to arouse public interest and support, as in some political or social cause or theory: to agitate for the repeal of a tax.

Origin of agitate

1580–90; <Latin agitātus (past participle of agitāre to set in motion), equivalent to ag- (root of agere to drive) + -it- frequentative suffix + -ātus-ate1

Other words for agitate

Opposites for agitate

Other words from agitate

  • ag·i·ta·ble [aj-i-tuh-buhl], /ˈædʒ ɪ tə bəl/, adjective
  • ag·i·ta·tive, adjective
  • o·ver·ag·i·tate, verb (used with object), o·ver·ag·i·tat·ed, o·ver·ag·i·tat·ing.
  • pre·ag·i·tate, verb (used with object), pre·ag·i·tat·ed, pre·ag·i·tat·ing.
  • re·ag·i·tate, verb, re·ag·i·tat·ed, re·ag·i·tat·ing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use agitate in a sentence

  • I must aspire to the agitating transports of self-devotion, in scenes of sacrifice and peril!

  • Fear knocked loudly at her heart, whenever she asked of it this agitating question.

    The World Before Them | Susanna Moodie
  • In these ideas, agitating the heart of Phlippon, behold the origin of the French Revolution.

  • Ancient art was the garment in which the young and world-agitating ideas of Christianity were compelled to veil themselves.

    The Catacombs of Rome | William Henry Withrow
  • It is the men who propound agitating ideas and who revolutionize the character of nations, that are persecuted.

British Dictionary definitions for agitate


/ (ˈædʒɪˌteɪt) /

  1. (tr) to excite, disturb, or trouble (a person, the mind, or feelings); worry

  2. (tr) to cause to move vigorously; shake, stir, or disturb

  1. (intr; often foll by for or against) to attempt to stir up public opinion for or against something

  2. (tr) to discuss or debate in order to draw attention to or gain support for (a cause, etc): to agitate a political cause

Origin of agitate

C16: from Latin agitātus, from agitāre to move to and fro, set into motion, from agere to act, do

Derived forms of agitate

  • agitated, adjective
  • agitatedly, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012