See also: Stir, STIR, štir, 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-West Germanic *staurijan (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, a liquid of suchlike, by passing something through it
    Synonym: agitate
    She stirred the pudding with a spoon.
    He stirred his coffee so the sugar wouldn't stay at the bottom.
  3. (transitive) To agitate the content of (a container), by passing something through it.
    Would you please 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 August, Robert W[illiam] 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 quotations using 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 (moving around the particles of a liquid etc.)
    Can you give the soup a little stir?
  2. agitation; tumult; bustle; noise or various movements.
    • 1668, John Denham, Of Prudence (poem).
      Why all these words, this clamour, and this stir?
    • 1693, [John Locke], “§107”, in Some Thoughts Concerning Education, London: [] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, [], OCLC 1161614482:
      Consider, after so much stir about genus and species, how few words we have yet settled definitions of.
    • 1967, Barbara Sleigh, 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 quotations using this term, see Citations:stir.
  3. Public disturbance or commotion; tumultuous disorder; seditious uproar.
    • 1612, Sir John Davies, Discoverie of the True Causes why Ireland was never entirely subdued
      Being advertised of some stirs raised by his unnatural sons in England.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:stir.
  4. Agitation of thoughts; conflicting passions.

Derived termsEdit


Etymology 2Edit

From Romani stariben (prison), nominalisation of (a)star (seize), causative of ast (remain), probably from Sanskrit आतिष्ठति (ātiṣṭhati, stand or remain by), from तिष्ठति (tiṣṭhati, stand).


stir (countable and uncountable, plural stirs)

  1. (slang) Jail; prison.
    He's going to be spending maybe ten years in stir.
    • 1928, Jack Callahan, Man's Grim Justice: My Life Outside the Law (page 42)
      Sing Sing was a tough joint in those days, one of the five worst stirs in the United States.
    • 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.
Derived termsEdit





  1. imperative of stirre