"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[aj-i-tey-ter] /ˈædʒ ɪˌteɪ tər/
a person who stirs up others in order to upset the status quo and further a political, social, or other cause:
The boss said he would fire any union agitators.
a machine or device for agitating and mixing.
Origin of agitator
1730-40; agitate + -or2
Related forms
[aj-i-tuh-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /ˌædʒ ɪ təˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for agitator
  • He is not allowed to be an artist, he must be an agitator.
  • And he can only be an agitator if he sings particular songs.
  • Since the agitator is elusive and clever, one never knows who he will turn out to be or where he will show his hand.
  • Even in his gradualist phase he remained an agitator, an egalitarian, and a socialist to the end.
  • Each of these inducements alone has been enough to turn many a lean and hungry agitator into a well-fed establishmentarian.
  • Cookers and dryers are horizontal, cylindrical vessels equipped with a center, rotating shaft and agitator paddles or discs.
  • Clothes last longer because the washer uses gentle tumble action instead of an agitator.
  • The purchase price of these machines is definitely higher than an agitator type machine with comparable features.
  • The tank in which the helper was working was used for mixing mud and was equipped with power driven agitator paddles.
  • Runs were made with the two-stage agitator configuration split liquid feed.
British Dictionary definitions for agitator


a person who agitates for or against a cause, etc
a device, machine, or part used for mixing, shaking, or vibrating a material, usually a fluid
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 agitator

1640s, agent noun from agitate (v.); originally "elected representative of the common soldiers in Cromwell's army," who brought grievances (chiefly over lack of pay) to their officers and Parliament.

Political sense is first recorded 1734, and negative overtones began with its association with Irish patriots such as Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847). Historically, in American English, often with outside and referring to people who stir up a supposedly contented class or race. Latin agitator meant "a driver, a charioteer."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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