ag·​i·​ta | \ ˈa-jə-tə How to pronounce agita (audio) \

Definition of agita

: a feeling of agitation or anxiety

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Judging by its spelling and meaning, you might think that "agita" is simply a shortened version of "agitation," but that's not the case. Both "agitation" and the verb "agitate" derive from Latin agere ("to drive"). "Agita," which first appeared in American English in the early 1980s, comes from a dialectical pronunciation of the Italian word acido, meaning "heartburn" or "acid," from Latin acidus. ("Agita" is also occasionally used in English with the meaning "heartburn.") For a while the word's usage was limited to New York City and surrounding regions, but the word became more widespread in the mid-90s.

Examples of agita in a Sentence

took a deep breath to dispel her agita as she stepped onstage
Recent Examples on the Web But Cordero, bored and sensing their agita, decided to bait them even further by tweeting — falsely — that he’d subsequently been fined $150,000 by Grande’s label for his role in spreading the leak. New York Times, 25 Dec. 2020 My flash of fatherly agita was a result of everything seeming to pile up at once after my baby’s birth. Taylor Tepper, New York Times, 15 Apr. 2020 But the agita over how to groom yourself for work—hair straight or curly? Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 13 Apr. 2020 That points to a major source of agita for some observers of the 2016 election: electoral forecasts in the news media and elsewhere that used polling data to suggest Mrs. Clinton was highly likely to win. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2019 Given his broken finger, his fragile knees, his sore back and achy feet, not to mention his chronic agita, Bryant can't sit in a car for two hours. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, 28 Jan. 2020 But all the little decisions can at least begin to move the needle in the right direction (and relieve some of our collective agita!), and that’s where this guide comes in. The Healthyish Team, Bon Appétit, 28 Jan. 2020 For all the agita caused by Alabama’s kicking game, the sight Saturday afternoon was a new one. Michael Casagrande |, al, 27 Sep. 2019 All the people who have caused us agita so far in summer 2019: Marvel superheroes, NBA players, the characters of Big Little Lies and their respective wigs, Wife Guys, reality TV stars, male politicians, and podcasters. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 5 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'agita.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of agita

1971, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for agita

borrowed from Italian acido, literally, "heartburn, acid entry 1," with spelling reflecting southern Italian lax of consonants and reduction of final vowel

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Cite this Entry

“Agita.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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