ag·​i·​ta·​tor | \ ˈa-jə-ˌtā-tər How to pronounce agitator (audio) \

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

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Examples of agitator in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

The team wraps the bag around a set of large plastic agitators that look much like the cogs in a clock. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "North Oaks eighth graders’ project could help astronauts do laundry in space," 3 June 2019 And that sounds terrible’: Colorful agitator Broke-Ass Stuart feels the squeeze in S.F., and isn’t running for mayor again. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: End of the line for BART paper tickets," 6 Aug. 2019 Nonetheless, the gruesome details of the murders—and the visceral horror of the video—were fodder for racist agitators. Rachel Monroe, Outside Online, "Last winter, Moroccan officials found two hikers dead on the trail to the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. The international investigation that followed revealed the fragility of the adventure travel economy, as well as what happens when a small tourist hub is suddenly made strange by violence.," 29 July 2019 There’s another reason: the fight for resources has reminded the population of the dark days of Guatemala’s decades-long civil war, when agitators disappeared and the military committed atrocities in rural towns. Natalie Keyssar, National Geographic, "How this quiet region in Guatemala became the epicenter of migration," 26 July 2019 Because the pope at the time opposed democracy, anti-Catholic agitators suggested American Catholics would certainly reject American political institutions and norms. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: What John Andrews got wrong is that all religions are susceptible to abuse," 18 July 2019 Here are a few of the rules of their ancient and modern wars on the past. Undemocratic The agitators are never democratic and rarely act with any popular mandate or consensus. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Cowardly Incoherence of Name-Changing, Statue-Toppling, and other Iconoclasms," 25 June 2019 Rare for a guy with his offensive skill to be that kind of agitator. Kevin Paul Dupont,, "Here’s how the Bruins turned the tables on the Blues in Game 6," 10 June 2019 Maupin, for his part, has been the subject of scrutiny and investigations through his career as an agitator and community activist. Richard Ruelas And, azcentral, "Why has former Attorney General Tom Horne aligned himself with the Rev. Jarrett Maupin?," 21 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of agitator

1663, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for agitator

agitate + -or entry 1

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Statistics for agitator

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for agitator

The first known use of agitator was in 1663

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More Definitions for agitator



English Language Learners Definition of agitator

usually disapproving : 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)

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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

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readily or continually undergoing change

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