Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


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 Indo-European roots.]

ag′i·tat′ed·ly (-tā′tĭd-lē) adv.
ag′i·ta′tive adj.
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"It is all right, my dear; don't worry," soothed Miss Polly, agitatedly, hurrying forward.
I am in danger, I see, of being included among the whimsical fellows, which I so little desire that I have got me into my writing-chair to combat the charge, but, having sat for an unconscionable time with pen poised, I am come agitatedly to the fear that there may be something in it.
Under the stars of the blue summer night he walked agitatedly across the yard to the gate under the poplars.
Madame de Cintre was calmly happy before the world, and Newman had the felicity of fancying that before him, when the world was absent, she was almost agitatedly happy.
"But I showed the money to your ladyship," said Smilash, twisting his hat agitatedly. "I gev it you.
To initiate hydrogel formation, 0.1 mL APS (10 % aqueous), and 0.1 mL TEMED (10 % aqueous) were agitatedly added to this mixture under nitrogen environment.
When I saw elders of Southern Nigeria at table recently agitatedly discussing the current insecurity crisis in the country, with each of the parties proffering ways out of the bind, what struck me was the image of the Aburi Accord of 1967.
Everywhere the eye could see, large ungainly birds (crows, ravens, hawks, vultures) were perched on tree limbs or flying agitatedly out.
Horses' sweat-soaked manes glistened, their ears twitched agitatedly and sometimes they reared on hind legs, front feet flailing violently and neighing wildly through gnashing ivory teeth.
Liz, she won't work with me," Louise wrings her hands in her lap agitatedly.
After she begins to dance professionally, she changes her name to Tracee Le Roy, making the narrator ask: "who are you pretending to be now?" (Swing 358) At last, as a distressed mother of three, she blames blackness, the injustice of life, and agitatedly tells the narrator: "People like you think you can control everything.
Some of the waiting patients coughed violently Mothers who carried sick children moved agitatedly. The faces that waited there were grim, serious and preoccupied with worry (53).