agitator

noun
ag·​i·​ta·​tor | \ ˈa-jə-ˌtā-tər \

Definition of agitator

: one that agitates: such as
a : one who stirs up public feeling on controversial issues political agitators
b : a device or an apparatus for stirring or shaking

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of agitator in a Sentence

The police arrested several antigovernment agitators. a political agitator who led an unsuccessful revolt against the government

Recent Examples on the Web

That included Definers, which circulated a document casting Soros as a force behind Facebook’s agitators. Emily Stewart, Vox, "There are many reasons to be mad at Sheryl Sandberg. Asking about Soros’s Facebook interests isn’t one of them.," 30 Nov. 2018 In just two seasons in the N.H.L., Matt Tkachuk, the Calgary Flames’ left winger, has earned a reputation as one of the league’s most skilled, and most annoying, agitators. Neal E. Boudette, New York Times, "N.H.L. Is Expected to Bring Another Tkachuk Into the Fold," 21 June 2018 Ortega’s government blames the violence on right-wing agitators. Joshua Partlow, Washington Post, "Death toll reaches 100 in Nicaragua as political violence intensifies," 1 June 2018 These men form a small but important part of the voting base for Mr. López Obrador, who began his political career in the 1970s as an oil industry agitator. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Two States of Mexico Reveal the Split Driving Sunday’s Presidential Election," 28 June 2018 López Obrador has been a fixture on the Mexican left for decades, mostly as an agitator against the dominant parties and political elites, who fear his economic agenda and his tendency to rally the masses for his causes. Joshua Partlow, Washington Post, "If he becomes president, this man will turn Mexico’s White House into a public park," 4 June 2018 The question is whether Pelosi or the Democratic agitators can be more convincing. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Why Nancy Pelosi is still confident she’ll become House speaker," 9 Nov. 2018 When a middle-aged man driving a car with North Carolina plates stopped in confusion, the agitators descended on him. Andy Ngo, WSJ, "A Leftist Mob ‘Polices’ Portland," 11 Oct. 2018 Last year in February, the far-left agitators shut down a University of California, Berkeley, event featuring a conservative speaker and went on to riot in the city, causing approximately $100,000 in damage. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Berkeley, Calif., center of Antifa violence, ranked No. 3 'best city to live in'," 30 Aug. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of agitator

1663, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for agitator

agitate + -or entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about agitator

Statistics for agitator

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for agitator

The first known use of agitator was in 1663

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for agitator

agitator

noun

English Language Learners Definition of agitator

: a person who tries to get people angry or upset so that they will support an effort to change a government, company, etc.

: a device for stirring or shaking something in a machine (such as a washing machine)

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on agitator

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with agitator

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for agitator

Spanish Central: Translation of agitator

Nglish: Translation of agitator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of agitator for Arabic Speakers

Comments on agitator

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to settle judicially or to act as judge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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