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

Definition of agita

: a feeling of agitation or anxiety

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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

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, "Forget the Song of the Summer; Pick Your Summer 2019 Crush," 5 July 2019 Honestly, all this agita seems—respectfully—bananas, not to mention seriously missing out on the fun. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Why You Need to Watch the USWNT vs. France," 27 June 2019 In February, King interviewed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) in the midst of his agita over a blackface photo found on his yearbook page. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "The irresistible authenticity of Gayle King," 11 June 2019 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

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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Statistics for agita

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

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The first known use of agita was in 1971

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to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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