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

Definition of agita

: a feeling of agitation or anxiety

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

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

The tricky question of timing adds to the agita of a high-drama holiday, when photo-taking frenzies, fake blood and excessive sugar often combine in ghastly ways. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "For Halloween, There’s Nothing Scarier Than a Fickle Toddler," 15 Oct. 2018 Only 15 minutes early, but as anyone who's ever thrown a dinner party knows, those last 15 minutes are awash in adrenaline and agita. Jonathan Reynolds, Town & Country, "At Your Service," 11 July 2014 Remarks from Kanye West on Jimmy Kimmel last night are giving new bout of agita (ph) to liberals and Hollywood. Fox News, "Christopher Steele's communications with DOJ raise questions," 11 Aug. 2018 Nonetheless, the mere threat of another widespread UPS strike is causing agita in boardrooms across the country. Chris Morris, Fortune, "What Was It Like the Last Time UPS Went On Strike? And What's Different Today?," 7 June 2018 Tulsa Tulsa is as enigmatic as ever, which is fun for casual viewers but the cause of agita and heartburn for the Golden Hurricane’s fan base. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "American Athletic Conference power rankings: Central Florida still the clear favorite," 2 July 2018 For all the agita swirling around him, James has seemed very chill. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "The N.B.A.’s Decider: How LeBron James Controls Fortunes," 29 June 2018 That being said, the break from the emotional agita was nice, helping lend a light, fun feel to the episode. Mike Scott,, "'Southern Charm New Orleans' goes ghost hunting at the Myrtles," 14 May 2018 The prospect of so much government borrowing is creating lots of agita for those investors being asked to buy all this debt. Mark Zandi,, "Trump's tax cuts and the Federal Reserve will push up interest rates, causing pain for consumers," 26 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about agita

Listen to Our Podcast about agita

Dictionary Entries near agita








Statistics for agita

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for agita

The first known use of agita was in 1971

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on agita

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for agita

Comments on agita

What made you want to look up agita? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!