ag·​i·​ta·​tor ˈa-jə-ˌtā-tər How to pronounce agitator (audio)
: one that agitates: such as
: one who stirs up public feeling on controversial issues
political agitators
: a device or an apparatus for stirring or shaking

Example Sentences

The police arrested several anti-government agitators. a political agitator who led an unsuccessful revolt against the government
Recent Examples on the Web Nah, Jimmy Butler is mostly an instigator and agitator, which comes from a playful place while winning. Ira Winderman,, 1 Nov. 2021 Apart from his work with CRA, Young has written for right-wing publications like the Federalist and co-authored an anti-LGBTQ pamphlet titled A Parent’s Guide to Radical Gender Theory with conservative agitator Christopher Rufo. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 21 Oct. 2022 Iran recently joined the group, adding another foreign agitator to the ranks. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 5 Oct. 2022 In the North Shore House district vacated by Republican Representative James Kelcourse, a right-wing agitator who helped organize buses to Washington, D.C., for the protest that grew into the Jan. 6 insurrection is mounting a write-in campaign. John Hilliard,, 7 Sep. 2022 If Republicans win the House majority in the November election, Greene is poised to become an influential player shaping the GOP agenda, an agitator with clout. Lisa Mascaro, Chicago Tribune, 10 Oct. 2022 But that doesn’t stop the amiable Brit from dressing exactly like the 44-year-old rapper, clothing designer and cultural agitator. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, 21 Mar. 2022 One of the bad-faith actors was a racist agitator, Richard Spencer. Dominic Green, WSJ, 26 Aug. 2022 Those accounts allegedly included @mujtahidd, a pseudonym for a political agitator who gained millions of Twitter followers in the Arab Spring uprisings by accusing the Saudi royal family of corruption and other misdeeds. Mostafa Salem, CNN, 10 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History


agitate + -or entry 1

First Known Use

1663, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of agitator was in 1663

Dictionary Entries Near agitator

Cite this Entry

“Agitator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



ag·​i·​ta·​tor ˈaj-ə-ˌtāt-ər How to pronounce agitator (audio)
: a person who stirs up public feeling
: a device for stirring or shaking

More from Merriam-Webster on agitator

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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