Agitation is the act of stirring things up, like the agitation of a washing machine that moves the water, detergent, and clothes around and gets the dirt out or the agitation of political activists who want people to work together to do something.

  • Pronunciation: /,ædʒɪ'teʃən/
  • English description: a mental state of extreme emotional disturbance
  • Synonyms: upheaval
  • Chinese Translation:  搅动(jiao3 dong4)
  • Spanish Translation: la agitación
  • ORIGIN: The verb agitation comes from the Latin word agitare, meaning “move to and fro.” Agitation can happen whenever something is physically moved around, like stirring flour, eggs and milk to make pancake batter. Agitation also describes feeling stirred up emotionally — upset — or moved to act, like the agitation of protesters whose signs about unfair hiring practices at a store make many shoppers go somewhere else.


  • The subject has raised consternation, and agitation, most recently this fall when a brouhaha erupted over a certain New York theater’s female-writer-free season announcement.
  • And asking for such help, even when unbeknownst to others, causes much less internal agitation nowadays.

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