1 of 2


stir·​ring ˈstər-iŋ How to pronounce stirring (audio)
: rousing, inspiring
a stirring speech


2 of 2


: a beginning of motion or activity : movement
often used in plural
the first stirrings of revolution

Examples of stirring in a Sentence

Adjective a stirring rendition of the national anthem the message of brotherhood in Martin Luther King's stirring “I Have a Dream” speech still resonates today Noun I thought I detected a slight stirring of the leaves, and yet there wasn't a breath of wind.
Recent Examples on the Web
Houston's version was passionate and stirring, while Carey's was angelic and gentle. Rachel Yang,, 5 Feb. 2024 Using the back of a stirring spoon, spread the rice mixture into an even layer in the pan. 4. Cindy Dampier, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The movie came freighted with exposition, along with lengthy monologues and much stirring oration. Glenn Whipp, Twin Cities, 28 Jan. 2024 Fittingly, their stirring, ageless music sounds juke-joint-tested and stage-ready, tender yet massive. The New Yorker, 12 Jan. 2024 Stir in the Bloody Mary mix and heat on medium-high, stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 8 Jan. 2024 Before seeing the tent, visitors watch a stirring 12-minute film about its history and significance. Richard Grant, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Jan. 2024 The album, with its sedate and stirring compositions for electric guitar, captures the same feeling of happenstance, rich in detail and living between familiar and mysterious. Pitchfork, 14 Dec. 2023 But Feliciano’s guitar and voice turns schmaltzy lyrics into a stirring message of goodwill, giving just a hint of the wizardry the underappreciated artist always brought to his music. Suzy Exposito, Los Angeles Times, 19 Dec. 2023
But there were a few stirrings of hope Thursday, as Canales and Morgan poured forth their vision and threw in the occasional canine analogy. Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer, 2 Feb. 2024 Officials already see stirrings of violence in Europe, where on Monday a man claiming affiliation to Islamic State shot to death two Swedes in Brussels. Alan Cullison, WSJ, 20 Oct. 2023 Even the first stirrings of science began as outpourings of religious devotion to the moon. Rebecca Boyle, The Atlantic, 3 Jan. 2024 Get The Recipe 16 of 30 Tomato, Peach, and Corn Salad Just a little chopping and stirring are needed to create this quick salad that brings three of summer's best ingredients together. Jenna Sims, Southern Living, 21 Nov. 2023 There will be more stirrings in the regulation space. Daron Acemoglu, WIRED, 10 Jan. 2024 Feeling the first stirrings of love for an Los Angeles Dodgers fan: not as much. Tammy Lagorce, New York Times, 29 Dec. 2023 The story begins with the first stirrings of the naturalism that would define the Renaissance revolution in art. Eric Gibson, WSJ, 13 Dec. 2023 Cook over low to medium heat, covered with occasional stirring, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thickened. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 5 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'stirring.' 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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stirring was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near stirring

Cite this Entry

“Stirring.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: moving sense 3, inspiring
a stirring speech

More from Merriam-Webster on stirring

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!