v. ag·i·tat·ed, ag·i·tat·ing, ag·i·tates
1. To cause to move with violence or sudden force.
2. To upset; disturb: was agitated by the alarming news.
3. To arouse interest in (a cause, for example) by use of the written or spoken word; discuss or debate.
To stir up public interest in a cause: agitate for a tax reduction.
[Latin agitāre, agitāt-, frequentative of agere, to drive, do; see ag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
agi·tat′ed·ly (-tā′tĭd-lē) adv.
Synonyms: agitate, churn, convulse, rock2, shake
These verbs mean to cause to move to and fro violently: surface water agitated by the boat's propeller; a storm churning the waves; buildings convulsed by an explosion; a hurricane rocking trees and houses; an earthquake that shook the ground.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus