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See also: Stir and štír




Etymology 1Edit

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; see also Thesaurus:incite
  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.
    • 1613, Francis Bacon, chapter 8, in The Essaies[5], London:
      Preserue the rights of thy place, but stirre not questions of Iurisdiction : and rather assume thy right in silence, and de facto, then voice it with claimes, and challenges.
  5. (transitive, dated) To change the place of in any manner; to move.
    • 1677, Sir William Temple, “An Essay upon the Cure of Gout by Moxa”, in Miscellanea. The First Part, London, published 1705, page 209:
      [] notwithstanding the swelling of my Foot, so that I had never yet in five days been able to stir it, but as it was lifted.
  6. (intransitive) To move; to change one’s position.
    • 1816, Byron, The Prisoner of Chillon[6]:
      I had not strength to stir or strive, / But felt that I was still alive— []
  7. (intransitive) To be in motion; to be active or bustling; to exert or busy oneself.
    • 1818, Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage[7], canto III, stanza LXIX:
      All are not fit with them to stir and toil.
    • 1850, Charles Merivale, A History of the Romans under the Empire[8], volume 1:
      Meanwhile, the friends of the unfortunate exile, far from resenting his unjust suspicions, were stirring anxiously in his behalf.
  8. (intransitive) To become the object of notice; to be on foot.
    • 1741, Isaac Watts, The Improvement of the Mind[9]:
      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.
    Synonyms: arise, get up, rouse; see also Thesaurus:wake
    • 1907, Robert William 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 notesEdit
  • 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 termsEdit
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 2Edit

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 termsEdit





  1. imperative of stirre