- 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 on Thesaurus.com
- (tr, adverb) to set in motion; instigatehe stirred up trouble
- 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 up
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 up
Mix together the ingredients or parts, as in He stirred up some pancake batter, or Will you stir up the fire? [Mid-1300s]
Rouse to action, incite, provoke, as in He's always stirring up trouble among the campers, or If the strikers aren't careful they'll stir up a riot. [First half of 1500s] Also see stir up a hornets' nest.
In addition to the idioms beginning with stir
- stir up
- stir up a hornets' nest
- cause a commotion (stir)