stir up

stirred up; stirring up; stirs up

Definition of stir up

transitive verb

1 : to cause (someone) to feel a strong emotion and a desire to do something The speech stirred up the crowd.
2 : to cause (something) to move up into and through the air or water The workers stirred up a lot of dust.
3 : 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

First Known Use of stir up

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Cite this Entry

“Stir up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on stir up

Nglish: Translation of stir up for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stir up for Arabic Speakers

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