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[uh-stur] /əˈstɜr/
moving or stirring, especially with much activity or excitement:
The field was astir with small animals, birds, and insects.
up and about; out of bed.
Origin of astir
before 1000; Middle English, Old English; see a-1, stir1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for astir
Historical Examples
  • But, then, it was so early that not many even of the early-rising farmers were astir.

  • The child was astir before we got back to the genial warmth of the stove.

    Labrador Days Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
  • Now, in Fountain Court, almost before daylight, there was some one astir.

  • “Only enough to set them astir for revenge,” said the lieutenant.

    Hunting the Skipper George Manville Fenn
  • We had best make the venture after midnight, rather than now while the enemy is astir.

  • In a Malay village all are astir very shortly after daybreak.

    In Court and Kampong Hugh Clifford
  • Everyone in Jamestown was astir early one April morning in 1614.

    The Princess Pocahontas Virginia Watson
  • She obeyed, but the alarm had been given, and the house was astir.

    Hopes and Fears Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Jerrie was astir the next morning almost as soon as the first robin begin to sing under her window.

    Tracy Park Mary Jane Holmes
  • No one was astir but Mrs. Watts, and she was sweeping vigorously.

    The Bishop of Cottontown John Trotwood Moore
British Dictionary definitions for astir


adjective (postpositive)
awake and out of bed
in motion; on the move
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 astir

"up and about," 1823, from phrase on the stir, or from Scottish asteer; from stir. Old English had astyrian, which yielded Middle English ben astired "be stirred up, excited, aroused."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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