agitation (n.)

1560s, "debate, discussion" (on the notion of "a mental tossing to and fro"), from French agitation, from Latin agitationem (nominative agitatio) "motion, agitation," noun of action from past participle stem of agitare "move to and fro," frequentative of agere "to set in motion, drive forward; keep in movement" (from PIE root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move"). Physical sense of "state of being shaken or moving violently" is from 1580s; meaning "state of being mentally agitated" is from 1722; that of "arousing and sustaining public attention" to some political or social cause is from 1828.

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