ag·​i·​ta | \ˈa-jə-tə \

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

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 The book, obtained by news outlets and reviewed last week, has caused great agita for Trump. Josh Dawsey,, "Trump lets loose with a hurricane of a Sunday morning tweet storm," 15 Apr. 2018 The book, obtained by news outlets and reviewed last week, has caused great agita for Trump. Josh Dawsey, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump assails Comey in tweetstorm, calls for ex-FBI director to be imprisoned," 15 Apr. 2018 Teachout had little name recognition but harnessed a lot of the proto anti-Cuomo vibes, such as his awkwardness with the Occupy Wall Street movement and his hesitation to tax the rich, along with the anti-fracking movement and public union agita. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Here's exactly how much trouble Cynthia Nixon can cause for Andrew Cuomo," 20 Mar. 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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Time Traveler for agita

The first known use of agita was in 1971

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obstinately defiant of authority

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