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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for agitate in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


From Middle English, from Latin agitatus, past participle of agitare (to put in motion), from agere (to move). Compare with French agiter. See act, agent.



agitate (third-person singular simple present agitates, present participle agitating, simple past and past participle agitated)

  1. (transitive) To stir up; to disturb or excite; to perturb. [from 16th c.]
    He was greatly agitated by the news.
    • (Can we date this quote by Johnson and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The mind of man is agitated by various passions.
  2. (transitive) To cause to move with a violent, irregular action; to shake. [from 16th c.]
    • 1830, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford
      It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
    the wind agitates the sea
    to agitate water in a vessel
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To set in motion; to actuate. [16th–18th c.]
  4. (transitive, now rare) To discuss or debate. [from 16th c.]
    • 1790, Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men:
      Your speech at the time a bill for the regency was agitated now lies before me.
  5. (transitive, now rare) To revolve in the mind, or view in all its aspects; to consider, to devise. [from 17th c.]
    politicians agitate desperate designs


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Further reading[edit]




  1. adverbial present passive participle of agitar



agitate f

  1. feminine plural of agitato





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of agitō



From Middle English, from Latin agitatus. Cognate with English agitate.



agitate (third-person singular present agitates, present participle agitatin, past agitatit, past participle agitate)

  1. to agitate


  • “agitate” in Eagle, Andy, editor, The Online Scots Dictionary[1], 2016.