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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.

  • Dennet was astir early to see them off, and she had a little gift for each.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • Now, in Fountain Court, almost before daylight, there was some one astir.

  • I had no suspicion anything was astir that night with the college boys.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • We had best make the venture after midnight, rather than now while the enemy is astir.

  • The night passed, and with the coming of dawn the boys were astir.

  • Everyone in Jamestown was astir early one April morning in 1614.

    The Princess Pocahontas Virginia Watson
  • The town was astir by this time, the sun was on the beach, and the fishermen trooped off to bed.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Jerrie was astir the next morning almost as soon as the first robin begin to sing under her window.

    Tracy Park Mary Jane Holmes
  • I slept ill that night, and very early next morning I was astir.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
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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