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See also: Stir and štír



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English stiren, sturien, from Old English styrian (to be in motion, move, agitate, stir, disturb, trouble), from Proto-Germanic *sturiz (turmoil, noise, confusion), related to Proto-Germanic *staurijaną (to destroy, disturb). Cognate with Old Norse styrr (turmoil, noise, confusion), German stören (to disturb), Dutch storen (to disturb).


stir (third-person singular simple present stirs, present participle stirring, simple past and past participle stirred)

  1. (transitive) To incite to action
    Synonyms: arouse, instigate, prompt, excite
  2. (transitive) To disturb the relative position of the particles of, as of a liquid, by passing something through it; to agitate.
    She stirred the pudding with a spoon.
  3. (transitive) To agitate the content of (a container), by passing something through it.
    Would you please stand here and stir this pot so that the chocolate doesn't burn?
  4. (transitive) To bring into debate; to agitate; to moot.
  5. (transitive, dated) To change the place of in any manner; to move.
  6. (intransitive) To move; to change one’s position.
  7. (intransitive) To be in motion; to be active or bustling; to exert or busy oneself.
  8. (intransitive) To become the object of notice; to be on foot.
    • 1741, Isaac Watts, The Improvement of the Mind:
      And especially if they happen to have any superior character or possessions in this world, they fancy they have a right to talk freely upon everything that stirs or appears […]
  9. (intransitive, poetic) To rise, or be up and about, in the morning.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IV, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      “Mid-Lent, and the Enemy grins,” remarked Selwyn as he started for church with Nina and the children. Austin, knee-deep in a dozen Sunday supplements, refused to stir; poor little Eileen was now convalescent from grippe, but still unsteady on her legs; her maid had taken the grippe, and now moaned all day: “Mon dieu! Mon dieu! Che fais mourir!

For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:stir.

Usage notes[edit]
  • In all transitive senses except the dated one (“to change the place of in any manner”), stir is often followed by up with an intensive effect; as, to stir up fire; to stir up sedition.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


stir (countable and uncountable, plural stirs)

  1. The act or result of stirring; agitation; tumult; bustle; noise or various movements.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Sir John Denham.
      Why all these words, this clamor, and this stir?
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Locke.
      Consider, after so much stir about genus and species, how few words we have yet settled definitions of.
    • 1967, Sleigh, Barbara, Jessamy, 1993 edition, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, →ISBN, page 7:
      When the long, hot journey drew to its end and the train slowed down for the last time, there was a stir in Jessamy’s carriage. People began to shake crumbs from their laps and tidy themselves up a little.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:stir.
  2. Public disturbance or commotion; tumultuous disorder; seditious uproar.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Sir John Davies.
      Being advertised of some stirs raised by his unnatural sons in England.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:stir.
  3. Agitation of thoughts; conflicting passions.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Romani stariben (prison), nominalisation of (a)star (seize), causative of ast (remain), probably from Sanskrit आ-तिष्ठति (ā-tiṣṭhati, stand or remain by).


stir (uncountable)

  1. (slang) Jail; prison.
    He's going to spendin' maybe ten years in stir.
Derived terms[edit]





  1. imperative of stirre