ag·​i·​ta·​tion | \ ˌa-jə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce agitation (audio) \
plural agitations

Definition of agitation

1 : the act or an instance of agitating something : a moving back and forth or with an irregular, rapid, or violent action In candy making, this agitation usually consists of working the chocolate back and forth on a marble surface with a large scraper.— Rose Levy Beranbaum The technology is based on the controlled agitation of concentrated ore particles with precisely determined amounts of acid.— Corale L. Brierley
2 : a state or feeling of being agitated and restless nervous agitation Holmes was for the moment as startled as I. His hand closed like a vice upon my wrist in his agitation.— Arthur Conan Doyle She sat some time in a good deal of agitation, listening, trembling, and fearing to be sent for every moment …— Jane Austen : a state of excessive psychomotor activity accompanied by increased tension and irritability … characterized by prominent agitation, irritability, and delusions— Oliver Freudenreich et al. Propranolol and other beta-blockers suppress physical symptoms of agitation and anxiety by slowing down the sympathetic nervous system.The Harvard Mental Health Letter
3 : a persistent and sustained attempt to arouse public feeling or influence public opinion (as by appeals, discussions, or demonstrations) political agitation … makes it clear that this assertive attitude of black women was essential during the agitation for civil rights.— Gloria Naylor

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Other Words from agitation

agitational \ ˌa-​jə-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce agitation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

First Known Use of agitation

1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for agitation

Time Traveler

The first known use of agitation was in 1547

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Cite this Entry

“Agitation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for agitation


ag·​i·​ta·​tion | \ ˌa-jə-ˈtā-shən \

Kids Definition of agitation

: the act of agitating : the state of being agitated agitation of the water's surface He spoke with increasing agitation about the situation.


ag·​i·​ta·​tion | \ ˌaj-ə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce agitation (audio) \

Medical Definition of agitation

: a state of excessive psychomotor activity accompanied by increased tension and irritability

Other Words from agitation

agitated \ ˈaj-​ə-​ˌtāt-​əd How to pronounce agitation (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on agitation

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