Meaning of “stir” in the English Dictionary

"stir" in English

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uk /stɜːr/ us /stɝː/ -rr-

stir verb (MIX)

B1 [ I or T ] to mix a liquid or other substance by moving an object such as a spoon in a circular pattern:

Stir the sauce gently until it begins to boil.
Stir the egg yolks into the mixture.
She paused to stir some milk into her coffee.
Slowly add the flour, stirring until completely blended.

More examples

stir verb (MOVE)

C2 [ I or T ] to move or to cause something to move slightly:

A light breeze stirred the leaves lying on the path.
He stirred in his sleep as I kissed him.

[ I ] UK also stir yourself to wake up or begin to move or take action:

The alarm clock went off, but she didn't stir.
UK Come on, stir yourselves, or you'll be late!

stir verb (CAUSE EMOTION)

C2 [ T ] If something stirs you, it makes you feel a strong emotion:

I was deeply stirred by her performance.
[ + obj + to infinitive ] The speech stirred the crowd to take action.

[ I ] literary If an emotion stirs within you, you begin to feel it:

Hope stirred within her heart.

[ I ] UK informal disapproving to cause trouble intentionally between other people, especially by telling false or secret information:

There's a lot of gossip about me going around. Have you been stirring?
See also


Phrasal verb(s)


uk /stɜːr/ us /stɝː/

(Definition of “stir” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"stir" in American English

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us /stɜr/

stir verb (MIX)

[ I/T ] -rr- to mix liquids or other substances, or to move an object such as a spoon in a circular movement:

[ T ] Chad stirred the thick paint in the buckets.
[ I ] Add tomatoes, stir, and bring to boil.
[ M ] Let the rice sit, and then stir it up.

stir verb (MOVE)

[ I/T ] -rr- to move slightly, or to cause something to move:

[ T ] A breeze stirred the palm trees.
[ I ] The old man stirred in his chair.
[ M ] Her boat went ahead of mine, so she’d stir up the fish and I’d catch them.

stir verb (CAUSE)

[ T ] to cause feelings or emotions to be felt:

That music stirred some old emotions.
[ M ] He just likes to stir up unrest.

stirnoun [ U ]

us /stɜr/

stir noun [ U ] (ACT OF MIXING)

the act of mixing liquids or other substances with an object such as a spoon:

Give the onions a stir.

stir noun [ U ] (EXCITEMENT)

a lot of interest or excitement:

He caused a stir at the music awards by emptying a glass of water over the presenter’s head.

(Definition of “stir” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)