Agitator – Definition & Meaning

The word “agitator” has become a common term in modern times, often used to describe someone who incites or stirs up trouble. However, the definition of agitator goes beyond just creating chaos. In this article, we will explore the various meanings and associations of the word agitator, as well as its origins and usage in different contexts.


An agitator is defined as a person who stirs up trouble, usually for political or social reasons. They may be involved in protests, demonstrations, or other forms of activism. Additionally, an agitator can refer to a device that is used to mix or stir liquids, such as in a washing machine or industrial process.


The word agitator comes from the Latin word “agitare,” which means “to stir up.” The term was first used in the political sense during the French Revolution, where agitators were individuals who incited rebellion against the monarchy. Since then, the term has been used to describe individuals who stir up trouble in various contexts.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of agitator can vary slightly depending on the dictionary. According to Merriam-Webster, an agitator is “one who agitates, especially one who stirs up public feeling on controversial issues.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines an agitator as “a person who urges others to protest or rebel against authority.”


The term agitator is often associated with political and social activism. Agitators may be involved in protests, demonstrations, or other forms of activism in order to bring attention to a particular cause or issue. They may also be associated with labor unions, where they work to improve working conditions and wages for employees.


Synonyms for agitator include troublemaker, rabble-rouser, instigator, and provocateur. These terms all refer to someone who incites or stirs up trouble.


Antonyms for agitator include peacemaker, conciliator, and mediator. These terms refer to individuals who work to resolve conflicts and promote peace.

The same root words

The root word “agitare” is also found in other English words, such as agitation, agitate, and agitated. These words all relate to the act of stirring up or disturbing.

Example Sentences

  1. The agitator was arrested for inciting violence at the protest.
  2. The washing machine agitator helps to clean clothes by stirring up the water and detergent.
  3. The labor union hired an agitator to help negotiate better wages and working conditions.
  4. The politician was accused of being an agitator for his controversial views on immigration.
  5. The peacemaker worked to diffuse the tension between the two opposing groups, while the agitator continued to stir up trouble.
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