[ aj-i-tey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for agitation on
  1. the act or process of agitating; state of being agitated: She left in great agitation.

  2. persistent urging of a political or social cause or theory before the public.

  1. Also called psychomotor agitation. psychological and physical restlessness, manifested by pacing, hand-wringing, or other activity, sometimes occurring as a symptom of severe depression, schizophrenia, or other mental disorder.

Origin of agitation

First recorded in 1560–70; from Latin agitātiōn-, stem of agitātiō; equivalent to agitate + -ion

synonym study For agitation

1. Agitation, disturbance, excitement, turmoil imply inner unrest, uneasiness, or apprehension. Agitation implies a shaken state of emotions, usually perceptible in the face or movements: With evident agitation she opened the telegram. Disturbance implies an inner disquiet caused by worry, indecision, apprehension, or the like: Long-continued mental disturbance is a cause of illness. Excitement implies a highly emotional state caused by either agreeable or distressing circumstances: excitement over a proposed trip, unexpected good news, a fire. Turmoil suggests such a struggle or conflict of emotions that one is unable to think consecutively: Her thoughts were in a hopeless turmoil.

Other words for agitation

Other words from agitation

  • ag·i·ta·tion·al, adjective
  • o·ver·ag·i·ta·tion, noun
  • pre·ag·i·ta·tion, noun
  • pro·ag·i·ta·tion, adjective
  • re·ag·i·ta·tion, noun
  • su·per·ag·i·ta·tion, noun
  • un·der·ag·i·ta·tion, noun

Words Nearby agitation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use agitation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for agitation


/ (ˌædʒɪˈteɪʃən) /

  1. a state of excitement, disturbance, or worry

  2. the act of moving something vigorously; the shaking or stirring of something

  1. the act of attempting to stir up public opinion for or against something

Derived forms of agitation

  • agitational, adjective

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