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agitation

[aj-i-tey-shuh n]
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noun
  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.
  3. 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.
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Origin of agitation

1560–70; < Latin agitātiōn- (stem of agitātiō); see agitate, -ion
Related formsag·i·ta·tion·al, adjectiveo·ver·ag·i·ta·tion, nounpre·ag·i·ta·tion, nounpro·ag·i·ta·tion, adjectivere·ag·i·ta·tion, nounsu·per·ag·i·ta·tion, nounun·der·ag·i·ta·tion, noun

Synonyms

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1. tumult, storm; unrest, disquiet; struggle, conflict; perturbation, ado. 2. debate, discussion, argument.

Synonym study

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for agitation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Eudora persevered in silence, but her agitation obviously increased.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • It might be well for him to reflect that agitation was a two-edged sword.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Burke retained his manner of serene indifference to the other's agitation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The sight of her agitation silenced the singers, and they gazed at her in surprise.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • Her face had a bright, pleased expression, and showed no trace of fatigue or agitation.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson


British Dictionary definitions for agitation

agitation

noun
  1. a state of excitement, disturbance, or worry
  2. the act of moving something vigorously; the shaking or stirring of something
  3. the act of attempting to stir up public opinion for or against something
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Derived Formsagitational, 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

Word Origin and History for agitation

n.

1560s, "mental tossing to and fro," from French agitation, from Latin agitationem (nominative agitatio) "motion, agitation," noun of action from past participle stem of agitare "move to and fro," frequentative of agere in its sense of "to drive" (see act (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper