Etymology: Middle English, from Old English styrian; akin to Old High German stōren to scatter
Date: before 12th century
a. to cause an especially slight movement or change of position of
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 <stir the pudding> <stir the fire> — often used with up <stirred up mud from the lake bottom> b. to mix by or as if by stirring — 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 (as a memory) ; evoke c. provoke <stir a storm of controversy> intransitive verb 1. a. to make a slight movement <the leaves were barely stirring> b. to begin to move (as in rousing) 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 5. to be able to be stirred • stirrer noun II. noun Date: 14th century 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 III. noun Etymology: origin unknown Date: 1851 slang prison
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.