1

stir

verb \ ˈstər \

Definition of stir

stirred; stirring
transitive verb
1 a : to cause an especially slight movement or change of position of
  • tied so tightly he could scarcely stir a finger
b : to disturb the quiet of : agitate often used with up
  • the bear stirred up the bees
2 a : to disturb the relative position of the particles or parts of especially by a continued circular movement
  • stirred the paint with a paddle
  • stir the fire
often used with up
  • stirred up mud from the lake bottom
b : to mix by or as if by stirring
  • stir one's coffee
often used with in
  • stir in the spices
3 : bestir, exert
4 : to bring into notice or debate : raise often used with up
  • stir up sensitive issues
5 a : to rouse to activity : evoke strong feelings in
  • music that stirs the emotions
b : to call forth (something, such as a memory) : evoke
  • stir happy remembrances
c : provoke
  • stir a storm of controversy
often used with up
  • stir up trouble
intransitive verb
1 a : to make a slight movement
  • The leaves were barely stirring.
b : to begin to move (as in rousing)
  • She heard him stirring in bed.
c : to shift to another location : budge
  • haven't stirred since I arrived
2 : to begin to be active
  • The factory stirred to life.
3 : to be active or busy
  • Not a creature was stirring
  • —Clement Moore
4 : to pass an implement through a substance with a circular movement
  • washed the spoon she was stirring with
5 : to be able to be stirred
  • Add water until the mixture stirs easily.

stirrer

noun

Examples of stir in a Sentence

  1. The cake batter must be stirred for 10 minutes.

  2. Stir one cup of sugar into the batter.

  3. She was stirred from her sleep by the noise.

  4. The breeze stirred the leaves on the tree.

  5. We could see people stirring inside the shop.

  6. A good book can stir the imagination.

Origin and Etymology of stir

Middle English, from Old English styrian; akin to Old High German stōren to scatter

stir Synonyms

Synonyms
agitate, churn, swirl, wash, whirl
Antonyms
freeze, still
Related Words
beat, paddle, whip, whisk; reel, shake, wheel
Near Antonyms
hang around, remain, stay, stick around, tarry; stabilize

2

stir

noun

Definition of stir

1 a : a state of disturbance, agitation, or brisk activity
b : widespread notice and discussion : impression
  • the book caused quite a stir
2 : a slight movement
3 : a stirring movement

First Known Use of stir

14th century


3

stir

noun

Definition of stir

slang
: prison

Origin and Etymology of stir

origin unknown



STIR Defined for English Language Learners

stir

verb

Definition of stir for English Language Learners

  • : to mix (something) by making circular movements in it with a spoon or similar object

  • : to move or cause (someone or something) to move after being still

  • : to be active or busy


STIR Defined for Kids

1

stir

verb \ ˈstər \

Definition of stir for Students

stirred; stirring
1 : to make or cause to make a usually slight movement or change of position
  • She heard the child stir in bed.
  • The breeze stirred the tree's leaves.
2 : to make active
  • A good book can stir the imagination.
3 : to mix, dissolve, or move about by making a circular movement in
  • He stirred sugar into his coffee.
  • Stir the gravy so it doesn't burn.
4 : to cause to arise or take place
  • Don't stir up trouble.

2

stir

noun

Definition of stir for Students

1 : a state of upset or activity
  • A stir of excitement swept through the watching animals …
  • —Robert Lawson, Rabbit Hill
  • The whole town is in a stir.
2 : a slight movement
  • We heard the stir of leaves in the breeze.
3 : the act of making circular movements in
  • Give the sauce a stir.


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