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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, dated) To change the place of in any manner; to move.
  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) To incite to action; to arouse; to instigate; to prompt; to excite.
  6. (intransitive) To move; to change one’s position.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Byron
      I had not power to stir or strive, But felt that I was still alive.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:stir.
  7. (intransitive) To be in motion; to be active or bustling; to exert or busy oneself.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Byron
      All are not fit with them to stir and toil.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Charles Merivale
      The friends of the unfortunate exile, far from resenting his unjust suspicions, were stirring anxiously in his behalf.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:stir.
  8. (intransitive) To become the object of notice; to be on foot.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Isaac Watts
      They fancy they have a right to talk freely upon everything that stirs or appears.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:stir.
  9. (intransitive, poetic) To rise, or be up and about, in the morning.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter IV, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), 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 first, 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 0 340 19547 9, 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]

This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.


stir (uncountable)

  1. (slang) Jail; prison.
    He's going to spendin' maybe ten years in stir.
    • 1920, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Avery Hopwood, The Bat, chapterI:
      The Bat—they called him the Bat. []. He'd never been in stir, the bulls had never mugged him, he didn't run with a mob, he played a lone hand, and fenced his stuff so that even the fence couldn't swear he knew his face.





  1. imperative of stirre