American English

Definition of stir verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stir
    he / she / it stirs
    past simple stirred
    -ing form stirring
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  1. 1[transitive] to move a liquid or substance around, using a spoon or something similar, in order to mix it thoroughly stir something She stirred her tea. Stir the paint before you use it. stir something into something The vegetables are stirred into the rice while it is hot. stir something in Stir in the milk until the sauce thickens. Thesaurusmixstir mingle blendThese words all refer to substances, qualities, ideas, or feelings combining or being combined.mix to combine two or more substances, qualities, ideas, or feelings, usually in a way that means they cannot easily be separated; to be combined in this way:Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Oil and water do not mix.stir to move a liquid or substance around, using a spoon or something similar, in order to mix it thoroughly:She stirred her coffee.mingle to combine or be combined Mingle can be used to talk about sounds, colors, feelings, ideas, qualities, or substances. It is used in written English to talk about how a scene or event appears to someone or how they experience it:The sounds of laughter and singing mingled in the evening air. He felt a kind of happiness mingled with regret.blend to mix two or more substances or flavors together; to be mixed together:Blend the flour with the milk to make a smooth paste.mix or blend?If you blend things when you are cooking, you usually combine them more completely than if you just mix them. Mix can be used to talk about colors, feelings, or qualities as well as food and substances. In this meaning, blend is mostly used in the context of cooking. It is also used to talk about art, music, fashion, etc. with the meaning of “combine in an attractive way.”Patterns to mix/mingle/blend (something) with something to mix/stir/blend something into something to mix/stir/mingle/blend something together to mix/stir/blend ingredients to mix/mingle/blend flavors to mix/blend colors to mix/stir/blend something thoroughly/well/gently Topic CollocationsCookingpreparing prepare a dish/a meal/a menu/dinner/the fish weigh out 4oz of sugar/the ingredients wash/rinse the lettuce/spinach chop/slice/dice the carrots/onions/potatoes peel the carrots/onion/potatoes/garlic/orange grate a carrot/the cheese/some nutmeg remove/discard the bones/seeds/skin/rind/peel blend/combine/mix (together) the flour and water/all the ingredients beat/whisk the cream/eggs/egg whites knead/shape/roll (out) the doughcooking heat the oil in a frying pan preheat/heat the oven/the broiler bring to a boil stir constantly/gently with a wooden spoon reduce the heat simmer gently for 20 minutes/until reduced by half melt the butter/chocolate/cheese dissolve the sugar in water brown the meat for 8-10 minutes drain the pasta/the water from the pot/in a colander/in a strainer mash the potatoes/banana/avocadoways of cooking cook food/fish/meat/rice/pasta/a Mexican dish bake (a loaf of) bread/a cake/a pie/potatoes/muffins/cookies/fish boil cabbage/potatoes/an egg/a hot dog/water fry/deep-fry/stir-fry the chicken/vegetables broil meat/steak/chicken/sausages roast potatoes/peppers/meat/chicken/beef sauté garlic/mushrooms/onions/potatoes/vegetables steam rice/vegetables/spinach/asparagus/dumplings toast bread/nuts microwave food/popcorn/a frozen dinner/a TV dinnerserving serve in a glass/on a bed of rice/with potatoes arrange the slices on a plate/in layers carve the meat/chicken/turkey dress/toss a salad dress with/drizzle with olive oil/vinaigrette top with a slice of lemon/a scoop of ice cream/whipped cream/syrup garnish with a sprig of parsley/fresh basil leaves/lemon wedges/a slice of lime/a twist of orange sprinkle with salt/sugar/herbs/parsley/freshly ground black pepper
  2. move
  3. 2[intransitive, transitive] to move, or to make something move, slightly She heard the baby stir in the next room. stir something/somebody A slight breeze was stirring the branches. A noise stirred me from sleep.
  4. 3[intransitive, transitive] to move, or to make someone move, in order to do something You haven't stirred from that chair all evening! stir yourself/somebody Their complaints have finally stirred him into action.
  5. feelings
  6. 4[transitive] stir somebody (to something) to make someone excited or make them feel something strongly a book that really stirs the imagination She was stirred by his sad story.
  7. 5[intransitive] (of a feeling or a mood) to begin to be felt A feeling of guilt began to stir in her. New optimism was stirring throughout the country.
  8. Idioms
    stir the blood
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    to make someone excited
    Phrasal Verbsstir somebodyupstir somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: stir