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verb stir pronunciation in British English /stɜː(r)/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participlestirring
past tensestirred
past participlestirred
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to move food around in a dish or pan using a spoon or other object

    Stir the sauce gently over a low heat.

    stir well/thoroughly:

    Add the cream and stir thoroughly.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of stir
  2. 2



    stir up

    [transitive] to make someone feel upset or angry
    stir anger/hatred/fears:

    This murder has stirred a lot of ill feeling in the community.

    The latest economic figures have stirred fears of growing inflation.

    1. a.



      stir up

      [transitive] to make someone feel enthusiastic about something
      stir hopes/excitement/interest:

      Approaching elections have stirred hopes of reform.

    2. b.



      stir up

      [transitive] to make someone think about something

      Seeing George again stirred old memories in me.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] if an emotion or thought stirs in you, you feel it or think about it

    A faint memory stirred in my mind.

    A feeling of excitement stirred in her.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of stir
  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] to move, or to be moved, slightly because of the wind

    The white curtains stirred gently in the summer breeze.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to move slightly after being still for a long time

    Around 7.30 am, the children begin stirring sleepily.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of stir
  6. 6
    [intransitive] if you do not stir from a place, you do not leave it or move away from it

    She didn't stir from her house for three days.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of stir
  7. 7



    stir it

    [intransitive] British informal to say things deliberately in order to cause trouble between people

    Stop stirring!



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