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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").

Literal sense of "move to and fro, shake" is from 1590s. 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.

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Definitions of agitate from WordNet

agitate (v.)
try to stir up public opinion;
Synonyms: foment / stir up
agitate (v.)
cause to be agitated, excited, or roused;
Synonyms: rouse / turn on / charge / commove / excite / charge up
agitate (v.)
exert oneself continuously, vigorously, or obtrusively to gain an end or engage in a crusade for a certain cause or person; be an advocate for;
Synonyms: crusade / fight / press / campaign / push
agitate (v.)
move very slightly;
Synonyms: stir / shift / budge
agitate (v.)
move or cause to move back and forth;
Synonyms: shake
agitate (v.)
change the arrangement or position of;
Synonyms: vex / disturb / commove / shake up / stir up / raise up
From wordnet.princeton.edu