verb (used with object), stirred, stir·ring.

verb (used without object), stirred, stir·ring.


Nearby words

  1. stipulate,
  2. stipulation,
  3. stipulatory,
  4. stipule,
  5. stipuliform,
  6. stir up,
  7. stir up a hornets' nest,
  8. stir-crazy,
  9. stir-fried,
  10. stir-fry

Origin of stir

before 900; Middle English stiren (v.), Old English styrian; cognate with German stören; akin to Old Norse styrr disturbance; see storm

Related forms

Synonym study

17. See ado. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stirred

British Dictionary definitions for stirred



verb stirs, stirring or stirred

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
See also stir up

Derived Formsstirrable, adjective

Word Origin for stir

Old English styrian; related to Middle High German stürn to poke, stir, Norwegian styrja to cause a commotion; see storm, sturgeon




a slang word for prison in stir

Word Origin for stir

C19: perhaps from Romany stariben prison

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 stirred



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with stirred


In addition to the idioms beginning with stir

  • stir up
  • stir up a hornets' nest

also see:

  • cause a commotion (stir)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.