- to move one's hand or an implement continuously or repeatedly through (a liquid or other substance) in order to cool, mix, agitate, dissolve, etc., any or all of the component parts: to stir one's coffee with a spoon.
- to set in tremulous, fluttering, or irregular motion: A soft breeze stirred the leaves.
- to affect strongly; excite: to stir pity; to stir one's heart.
- to incite, instigate, or prompt (usually followed by up): to stir up a people to rebellion.
- to move briskly; bestir: to stir oneself.
- to move, especially in a slight way: He would not stir a finger to help them.
- to rouse from inactivity, quiet, contentment, indifference, etc. (usually followed by up): to stir up his potential.
- to bring up for notice or discussion.
- to disturb; trouble.
- to move, especially slightly or lightly: Not a leaf stirred.
- to move around, especially briskly; be active: Everyone in the house was stirring.
- to become active, as from some rousing or quickening impulse.
- to be emotionally moved or strongly affected.
- to be in circulation, current, or afoot: Is there any news stirring?
- the act of stirring or moving.
- the sound made by stirring or moving slightly.
- a state or occasion of general excitement; commotion: The news created a stir.
- a mental impulse, sensation, or feeling: a stir of hope.
- a jog, poke, or thrust: He gave the refuse a stir with his foot.
- movement, especially brisk and busy movement: There was too much clamor and stir for her.
Origin of stir1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for stir on Thesaurus.com
Origin of stir2
Examples from the Web for stir
Remove from heat and stir in the walnuts, rum, powdered sugar, and salt until fully incorporated.Carla Hall’s Christmas Day Treat: Rum Balls
December 25, 2014
Stir in the frozen peas and chicken, taste for seasonings, and pour the mixture into six (2-cup) ovenproof serving bowls.Make These Barefoot Contessa Chicken Pot Pies
November 29, 2014
With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate and cranberries until the dough is well mixed.Make These Barefoot Contessa Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
November 28, 2014
Fleeing their homes, many Syrians left behind middle-class lives; most arrived with none of the mementos that stir memory.Drawing on the Memories of Syrian Women
November 26, 2014
In 2012, Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon caused a stir when she told The New York Times that her lesbianism is a “choice.”The Problematic Hunt for a ‘Gay Gene’
November 20, 2014
No, sir; I'm not gwine to stir from here till I git my twenty dollars!Harriet, The Moses of Her People
Sarah H. Bradford
Not a breeze can stir but it thrills us with the breath of autumn.The Old Manse (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
Not until there was a convulsive jerk of Dozier's elbow did he stir his folded arms.Way of the Lawless
And yet it was a coward's blow, and one to stir the blood and loose the tongue of the most peaceful.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Stir until the eggs have thickened and then remove from the fire.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 4
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
- to move an implement such as a spoon around in (a liquid) so as to mix up the constituentsshe stirred the porridge
- to change or cause to change position; disturb or be disturbedhe stirred in his sleep
- (intr often foll by from) to venture or depart (from one's usual or preferred place)he won't stir from the fireside
- (intr) to be active after a rest; be up and about
- (tr) to excite or stimulate, esp emotionally
- to move (oneself) briskly or vigorously; exert (oneself)
- (tr) to rouse or awakento stir someone from sleep; to stir memories
- informal (when tr, foll by up) to cause or incite others to cause (trouble, arguments, etc)
- stir one's stumps informal to move or become active
- the act or an instance of stirring or the state of being stirred
- a strong reaction, esp of excitementhis publication caused a stir
- a slight movement
- NZ informal a noisy party
- a slang word for prison in stir
Word Origin and History for stir
Old English styrian, from Proto-Germanic *sturjanan (cf. Middle Dutch stoeren, Dutch storen "to disturb," Old High German storan "to scatter, destroy," German stören "to disturb"), probably from the root of storm (q.v.). The noun sense of "commotion, disturbance, tumult" (late 14c., in phrase on steir) is probably from Old Norse styrr "disturbance, tumult" (see storm), from the same Proto-Germanic root; the sense of "movement, bustle" is probably from the English verb. Stir-fry (v.) is attested from 1959.
Idioms and Phrases with stir
In addition to the idioms beginning with stir
- stir up
- stir up a hornets' nest
- cause a commotion (stir)