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 arc of Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s career, the official story goes, is from left-wing agitator to avatar of compromise. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 1 Oct. 2021 Downtown, one right-wing agitator allegedly fired a handgun into a crowd of anti-fascists, at least one of whom returned fire. Robert Evans, Rolling Stone, 14 Sep. 2021 This archetypal agitator reappeared in several of the paintings. Thomas Meaney, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 Dorothy, by all reports, is an agitator who can’t help but interject with her stance on every topic. Shamira Ibrahim, Vulture, 20 Sep. 2021 Keep the agitator post in for regular loads or remove it to wash bulky loads. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, 17 Aug. 2021 Plotkin, who died in 2019, was a radio commentator and home rule agitator. Washington Post, 3 July 2021 And this speaks to Pollan’s emerging role in the drug war not as an activist or agitator but a kind of culture warrior. John Semley, The New Republic, 26 July 2021 Jackson has proven to be more of a partisan agitator, as evidenced by his letter to Biden co-signed by 13 GOP colleagues. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 18 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for agitator

Time Traveler

The first known use of agitator was in 1663

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agitator feed

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Agitator.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for agitator



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)

More from Merriam-Webster on agitator

Nglish: Translation of agitator for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of agitator for Arabic Speakers


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