1610s, "set in motion," past participle adjective from agitate (v.). Meaning "disturbed" is from 1650s; that of "disturbed in mind" is from 1756. Meaning "kept constantly in public view" is from 1640s.
1580s, "to disturb," from Latin agitatus, past participle of agitare "to put in constant motion, drive onward, impel," frequentative of agere "to move, drive" (see agitation). Literal sense of "move to and fro, shake" is from 1590s. Related: Agitated; agitating.