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 ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.