moving or stirring, especially with much activity or excitement: The field was astir with small animals, birds, and insects.
up and about; out of bed.

Origin of astir

before 1000; Middle English, Old English; see a-1, stir1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for astir

about, active, afoot, alert, awake, roused

Examples from the Web for astir

Historical Examples of astir

  • Dennet was astir early to see them off, and she had a little gift for each.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • I had no suspicion anything was astir that night with the college boys.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Lights flashed in the windows, drums beat, and the whole place was astir.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The night passed, and with the coming of dawn the boys were astir.

  • A soul is astir with an idea, a resentment, a call for change.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

British Dictionary definitions for astir


adjective (postpositive)

awake and out of bed
in motion; on the move
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 astir

"up and about," 1823, from phrase on the stir, or from Scottish asteer; from stir. Old English had astyrian, which yielded Middle English ben astired "be stirred up, excited, aroused."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper