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[aj-i-teyt] /ˈædʒ ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used with object), agitated, agitating.
to move or force into violent, irregular action:
The hurricane winds agitated the sea.
to shake or move briskly:
The machine agitated the mixture.
to move to and fro; impart regular motion to.
to disturb or excite emotionally; arouse; perturb:
a crowd agitated to a frenzy by impassioned oratory; a man agitated by disquieting news.
to call attention to by speech or writing; discuss; debate:
to agitate the question.
to consider on all sides; revolve in the mind; plan.
verb (used without object), agitated, agitating.
to arouse or attempt to arouse public interest and support, as in some political or social cause or theory:
to agitate for the repeal of a tax.
1580-90; < Latin agitātus (past participle of agitāre to set in motion), equivalent to ag- (root of agere to drive) + -it- frequentative suffix + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
[aj-i-tuh-buh l] /ˈædʒ ɪ tə bəl/ (Show IPA),
agitative, adjective
overagitate, verb (used with object), overagitated, overagitating.
preagitate, verb (used with object), preagitated, preagitating.
reagitate, verb, reagitated, reagitating.
1. disturb, toss. 3. wave. 4. ruffle, fluster, roil. 5. dispute.
1. calm, soothe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for agitating
  • As he has done with many other companies in the past, he bought a big stake in the company and is now agitating for change.
  • Wash chopped leeks in a large bowl of water, agitating them, then lift out and drain.
  • No one talks seriously about outing the system or agitating in poor neighborhoods.
  • Central-mixed concrete is transported in non-agitating trucks, truck mixers, or agitating trucks.
  • The crew tried to approach her slowly to avoid agitating her.
  • Stirring and agitating the sample may be necessary and may be accomplished with any stirring or agitating instrument.
  • Handle soiled items carefully-without agitating them-to avoid spreading virus.
  • Special agitating equipment is used to mix the material and move it through the bays as it decomposes.
  • Heat on a hot plate while agitating with a magnetic stirrer to create the solution quickly.
  • Avoid agitating the contaminated articles to prevent the virus from becoming airborne.
British Dictionary definitions for agitating


(transitive) to excite, disturb, or trouble (a person, the mind, or feelings); worry
(transitive) to cause to move vigorously; shake, stir, or disturb
(intransitive; often foll by for or against) to attempt to stir up public opinion for or against something
(transitive) to discuss or debate in order to draw attention to or gain support for (a cause, etc): to agitate a political cause
Derived Forms
agitated, adjective
agitatedly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin agitātus, from agitāre to move to and fro, set into motion, from agere to act, do
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
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Word Origin and History for agitating



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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