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1. To stir something with a tool or utensil, especially to mix together its ingredients or parts. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stir" and "up." He stirred the mixture up before pouring it out into the mold. Make sure to stir up the curry before you serve it.
2. To create as a result of stirring or agitating, or to cause to become churned or distributed in a chaotic way. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stir" and "up." Stop it, your stirring up a whole cloud of soot doing that! You're probably sneezing because the wind has been stirring up all the pollen.
3. To rouse, incite, or provoke something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stir" and "up." Quit stirring up trouble! The mayor has been stirring up controversy again with another inflammatory remark. The old movie stirred emotions up in me that I'd long forgotten.
4. To incense, agitate, or anger someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "stir" and "up." He's just attempting to stir up his followers and distract from the scandal. Nothing stirs my students up as much as when I assign homework over the weekend.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
stir someone up
Fig. to get someone excited; to get someone angry. (Fig. on stir something up.) The march music really stirred the audience up. The march stirred up the audience.
stir something up
1. Lit. to mix something by stirring. Please stir the pancake batter up before you use it. Please stir up the batter.
2. Fig. to cause trouble. Why are you always trying to stir trouble up? Are you stirring up trouble again?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Mix together the ingredients or parts, as in He stirred up some pancake batter, or Will you stir up the fire? [Mid-1300s]
2. Rouse to action, incite, provoke, as in He's always stirring up trouble among the campers, or If the strikers aren't careful they'll stir up a riot. [First half of 1500s] Also see stir up a hornets' nest.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To mix something before cooking or use: You must stir up the concrete thoroughly before you start paving the path. I poured the batter into a bowl and stirred it up vigorously.
2. To churn or agitate something into a state of turbulence: The storm stirred up the normally placid lake. The wind stirs the leaves up.
3. To cause something to form by churning or agitating: The truck zoomed off, stirring a cloud of dust up behind it. I stirred up a batch of concrete in the mixer and got to work paving the driveway.
4. To rouse the emotions of someone or something; excite someone or something: The protesters hope to stir up the public through this demonstration. The teacher stirred the students up when she threatened to give them more work.
5. To summon some collective emotion or sentiment by exciting a group of people: The court's verdict was certain to stir up controversy. The tourism board is trying to stir up interest in the city.
6. To evoke some mental image or remembrance: That old picture stirs up many memories for me.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.