[ stur-ing ]
/ ˈstɜr ɪŋ /


rousing, exciting, or thrilling: a stirring speech.
moving, active, bustling, or lively: a stirring business.

noun Usually stirrings.

a mental impulse, sensation, or feeling: stirrings of hope.
a small movement: the best thing she could do was to pretend that her husband's nocturnal stirrings didn't wake her

Nearby words

  1. stirp,
  2. stirpes,
  3. stirpiculture,
  4. stirps,
  5. stirrer,
  6. stirringly,
  7. stirrup,
  8. stirrup bone,
  9. stirrup cup,
  10. stirrup jar

Origin of stirring

before 900; Middle English stiringe, Old English styriende. See stir1, -ing2

Related formsstir·ring·ly, adverbun·stir·ring, adjective


[ stur ]
/ stɜr /

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

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


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 stirring

British Dictionary definitions for stirring


/ (ˈstɜːrɪŋ) /


exciting the emotions; stimulating
active, lively, or busy
Derived Formsstirringly, adverb


/ (stɜː) /

verb stirs, stirring or stirred


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


/ (stɜː) /


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 stirring
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with stirring


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.