stir up


stirred up; stirring up; stirs up

transitive verb

: to cause (someone) to feel a strong emotion and a desire to do something
The speech stirred up the crowd.
: to cause (something) to move up into and through the air or water
The workers stirred up a lot of dust.
: to cause (something, usually something bad or unpleasant) to happen
They're trying to stir up trouble.
But, of course, there's a reason politicians generally try to communicate deliberately: It helps them avoid saying things that might offend voters or stir up controversy.Philip Bump
I'm not a rebel, trying to stir things up just to be provocative.Norma Klein
… the incident stirred up a hornet's nest of protest and indignation.Robert T. Martinott

Examples of stir up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Schroeder stirred up quite the reaction to her caption. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 18 Sep. 2023 An acquaintance arrives with a case sure to stir up his interest. Kaely Monahan, The Arizona Republic, 9 Sep. 2023 Its six-week retrograde stirred up home drama, but certain grievances had to be shared. USA TODAY, 3 Sep. 2023 While the Communist Party leadership might seek to stir up patriotic spirits through such an attack, Dr. Prasad thinks a shaky economy would in fact make the use of military force less likely, given the resources required to sustain that kind of engagement. Lydia Depillis, New York Times, 26 Aug. 2023 Get Suspects Talking Nancy may be forever 18, but your 21-and-over guests can stir up spirits and suspense. Country Living Staff, Country Living, 8 Sep. 2023 In Montgomery, student fights stir up anxiety over safety at games Friday’s fight took place off school grounds. Nicole Asbury, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 Even before Japan started pumping out the first tranche of more than a million tons of wastewater last week, China had mounted a coordinated campaign to spread disinformation about the safety of the release, stirring up anger and fear among millions of Chinese. John Liu, New York Times, 31 Aug. 2023 The frenzy it’s stirred up has led to some rather curious deals, such as the case of a fledgling startup, roughly a week old, boasting a valuation of around $100 million, all on the basis of a lofty A.I.-infused vision rather than much of a physical product, as reported by the New York Times. Bykylie Robison, Fortune, 18 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stir up.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of stir up was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near stir up

Cite this Entry

“Stir up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

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