definition of Stires by The Free Dictionary

stir 1


v. stirred, stir·ring, stirs


a. To pass an implement through (a liquid, for example), usually in circular motions, so as to mix or cool the contents: stirred the soup before tasting it.

b. To use an implement to move or rearrange the fuel in (a fire) to increase light or heat.

c. To add or mix in (an ingredient, for example) into a liquid or mixture by moving an implement: stirred a cup of sugar into the cake batter.

d. To mix together the ingredients of (a liquid, for example) before cooking or use by moving an implement: stirred up some popover batter; stirred the paint.

e. To move or pass (an implement) through a liquid in order to mix or cool the contents: stirred her spoon in her coffee.

2. To cause to move or shift, especially slightly or with irregular motion: A breeze stirred the branches.


a. To cause to become active; bestir: stirred themselves to fix breakfast.

b. To excite strong feelings in or rouse, as from indifference: The speaker stirred us to volunteer at the homeless shelter. See Synonyms at provoke.

c. To provoke deliberately; incite. Often used with up: stir up trouble.


1. To change position slightly: The leaves were stirring in the breeze.


a. To start to move, especially in rising from sleep: The house was quiet, as no one had stirred yet.

b. To move about actively or busily: People were stirring about the office.

c. To move away from a customary or usual place or position: instructed the guards not to stir from their posts.


a. To stir or mix a liquid or mixture: stood at the counter stirring.

b. To be capable of being stirred: a mixture that stirs easily.

4. To happen or begin: when the civil rights movement first stirred.

5. To be roused or affected by strong feelings: “His wrath so stirred within him, that he could have struck him dead” (Charles Dickens).


1. A stirring, mixing, or poking movement: gave the fire a stir.

2. A slight movement: slept soundly and barely made a stir.

3. An excited reaction or commotion: The news caused quite a stir in our family.

[Middle English stiren, from Old English styrian, to excite, agitate.]

stir′rer n.

stir 2


[Short for Romani stariben, stirapen : star, variant of astar, to seize, causative of ast, to remain, stop (probably akin to Prakrit atthaï, he sits, from earlier Middle Indic *āsthāti, he remains, from Sanskrit ātiṣṭhati , he stands by, remains on : ā-, near, to, at + tiṣṭati, sthā-, he stands; see sthā- in Indo-European roots) + Romani -ben, n. suff.]

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.



vb, stirs, stirring or stirred

1. (Cookery) to move an implement such as a spoon around in (a liquid) so as to mix up the constituents: she stirred the porridge.

2. to change or cause to change position; disturb or be disturbed: he stirred in his sleep.

3. (often foll by: from) to venture or depart (from one’s usual or preferred place): he won’t stir from the fireside.

4. (intr) to be active after a rest; be up and about

5. (tr) to excite or stimulate, esp emotionally

6. to move (oneself) briskly or vigorously; exert (oneself)

7. (tr) to rouse or awaken: to stir someone from sleep; to stir memories.

8. informal (when: tr, foll by up) to cause or incite others to cause (trouble, arguments, etc)

9. stir one’s stumps informal to move or become active


10. the act or an instance of stirring or the state of being stirred

11. a strong reaction, esp of excitement: his publication caused a stir.

12. a slight movement

13. informal NZ a noisy party

[Old English styrian; related to Middle High German stürn to poke, stir, Norwegian styrja to cause a commotion; see storm, sturgeon]

ˈstirrable adj




(Law) a slang word for prison: in stir.

[C19: perhaps from Romany stariben prison]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



v. stirred, stir•ring,
n. v.t.

1. to agitate (a liquid or other substance) with a continuous or repeated movement of an implement or one’s hand.

2. to set in tremulous, fluttering, or irregular motion.

3. to affect strongly; excite: to stir pity.

4. to incite, instigate, or prompt (usu. fol. by up): likes to stir up trouble.

5. to move briskly; bestir: to stir oneself.

6. to move, esp. in a slight way: not stir a finger to help.

7. to rouse from inactivity, quiet, contentment, indifference, etc. (usu. fol. by up).


8. to move, esp. slightly or lightly.

9. to move around, esp. briskly; be active.

10. to become active, as from some rousing impulse.

11. to be emotionally moved.

12. to be in circulation, current, or afoot.


13. the act of stirring or moving.

14. the sound made by stirring or moving slightly.

15. a state or occasion of general excitement; commotion.

16. a mental impulse, sensation, or feeling.

17. a jog, poke, or thrust.

18. movement, esp. brisk and busy movement.

[before 900; Middle English stiren (v.), Old English styrian]

stir′rer, n.




Slang. prison.

[1850–55; of obscure orig.]

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment