Agitation is the act of stirring things up, like the agitation of a washing machine that moves the water, detergent, and clothes around and gets the dirt out or the agitation of political activists who want people to work together to do something.

The verb agitation comes from the Latin word agitare, meaning “move to and fro.” Agitation can happen whenever something is physically moved around, like stirring flour, eggs and milk to make pancake batter. Agitation also describes feeling stirred up emotionally — upset — or moved to act, like the agitation of protesters whose signs about unfair hiring practices at a store make many shoppers go somewhere else.

Definitions of agitation
  1. noun
    a mental state of extreme emotional disturbance
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    disturbance, perturbation, upset
    an unhappy and worried mental state
    fret, lather, stew, sweat, swither
    agitation resulting from active worry
    dither, flap, fuss, pother, tizzy
    an excited state of agitation
    loss of emotional control often resulting in emotional collapse
    type of:
    mental condition, mental state, psychological condition, psychological state
    (psychology) a mental condition in which the qualities of a state are relatively constant even though the state itself may be dynamic
  2. noun
    the feeling of being agitated; not calm
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    a feeling of calm; an absence of agitation or excitement
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    a feeling of restless agitation
    fidget, fidgetiness, restlessness
    a feeling of agitation expressed in continual motion
    an extreme state of worry and agitation
    emotional agitation and excitement
    tumult, turmoil
    violent agitation
    a restless desire for change and excitement
    keen and shared excitement
    a general feeling of excitement and heightened interest
    type of:
    the experiencing of affective and emotional states
  3. noun
    a state of agitation or turbulent change or development
    synonyms: ferment, fermentation, tempestuousness, unrest
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    type of:
    Sturm und Drang, turbulence, upheaval
    a state of violent disturbance and disorder (as in politics or social conditions generally)
  4. noun
    disturbance usually in protest
    synonyms: excitement, hullabaloo, turmoil, upheaval
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    type of:
    the act of disturbing something or someone; setting something in motion
  5. noun
    the act of agitating something; causing it to move around (usually vigorously)
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    the act of causing something to move up and down (or back and forth) with quick movements
    agitating a liquid with an implement
    shake, wag, waggle
    causing to move repeatedly from side to side
    the act of moving something by repeated tugs or pushes
    jiggle, joggle
    a slight irregular shaking motion
    type of:
    motility, motion, move, movement
    a change of position that does not entail a change of location
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