O.E. styrian, from P.Gmc. *sturjanan (cf. M.Du. stoeren, Du. storen "to disturb," O.H.G. storan "to scatter, destroy," Ger. stören "to disturb"), probably from the root of storm (q.v.). The noun sense of "commotion, disturbance, tumult" (late 14c., in phrase on steir)
is probably from O.N. styrr "disturbance, tumult" (see storm), from the same P.Gmc. root; the sense of "movement, bustle" is probably from the Eng. verb. Stir-fry (v.) is attested from 1959.