Etymology
Advertisement
agitate (v.)

1580s, "to disturb," from Latin agitatus, past participle of agitare "to put in constant or violent motion, drive onward, impel," frequentative of agere "to set in motion, drive, drive forward," figuratively "incite to action; keep in movement, stir up" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move").

The sense of "move to and fro, shake" is from 1590s. The meaning "to discuss, debate" is from 1640s, that of "keep (a political or social question) constantly in public view" is by 1828. Related: Agitated; agitating.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
agitated (adj.)

1610s, "set in motion," past-participle adjective from agitate (v.). The meaning "disturbed" is from 1650s; that of "disturbed in mind" is from 1756. The sense of "kept constantly in public view" is from 1640s.

Related entries & more 
agitator (n.)

1640s, agent noun from agitate (v.); originally "elected representative of the common soldiers in Cromwell's army," who brought grievances (chiefly over lack of pay) to their officers and Parliament.

The political sense is recorded by 1734, and negative overtones began with its association with Irish patriots such as Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847). Historically, in American English, often with outside and referring to people who stir up a supposedly contented class or race. Latin agitator meant "a driver, a charioteer."

Related entries & more 
churn (v.)

mid-15c., chyrnen, "to stir or agitate (milk or cream) to make butter," from churn (n.). Extended sense "shake or agitate violently" is from late 17c. Intransitive sense is from 1735. Related: Churned; churning. To churn out, of writing, "produce mechanically and in great volume" is from 1902.

Related entries & more 
seismo- 

before vowels seism-, word-forming element meaning "earthquake," from Greek seismos "a shaking, shock; an earthquake," also "an extortion" (compare colloquial shake (someone) down), from seiein "to shake, agitate, sway; to quake, shiver" from PIE root *twei- "to agitate, shake, toss; excite; sparkle" (source also of Sanskrit tvesati "to excite; to be excited, inflame, sparkle" and words in Avestan for "fears" and "fright, danger").

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
insouciant (adj.)

1828, from French insouciant "careless, thoughtless, heedless," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + souciant "caring," present participle of soucier "to care," from Latin sollicitare "to agitate" (see solicit). Related: Insouciantly.

Related entries & more 
insouciance (n.)

1820, from French insouciance "heedless indifference or unconcern," from insouciant "carelessness, thoughtlessness, heedlessness," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + souciant "caring," present participle of soucier "to care," from Latin sollicitare "to agitate" (see solicit).

Related entries & more 
ripple (v.)

early 15c., riplen, "to crease, wrinkle;" 1660s, "to present a ruffled surface," of obscure origin, perhaps a frequentative of rip (v.), and compare rip (n.2) and rumple. Transitive sense, in reference to the surface of water, "cause to ripple, agitate lightly," is from 1786. Related: Rippled; rippling.

Related entries & more 
fluster (v.)

early 15c. (implied in flostrynge), "bluster, agitate," probably from a Scandinavian source (compare Icelandic flaustr "bustle," flaustra "to bustle"), from Proto-Germanic *flaustra-, probably from PIE *pleud-, extended form of root *pleu- "to flow." Originally "to excite," especially with drink; sense of "to flurry, confuse" is from 1724. Related: Flustered; flustering; flustery. As a noun, 1710, from the verb.

Related entries & more 
emotion (n.)

1570s, "a (social) moving, stirring, agitation," from French émotion (16c.), from Old French emouvoir "stir up" (12c.), from Latin emovere "move out, remove, agitate," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away"). Sense of "strong feeling" is first recorded 1650s; extended to any feeling by 1808.

Related entries & more