Definition of stir verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//stɜː(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stɜːr//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they stir
    BrE BrE//stɜː(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stɜːr//
    he / she / it stirs
    BrE BrE//stɜːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stɜːrz//
    past simple stirred
    BrE BrE//stɜːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stɜːrd//
    past participle stirred
    BrE BrE//stɜːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stɜːrd//
    -ing form stirring
    BrE BrE//ˈstɜːrɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstɜːrɪŋ//
    Excitement, Preparing food
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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. Synonymsmixstir 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 tea.mingle to combine or be combined. Mingle can be used to talk about sounds, colours, feelings, ideas, qualities or substances. It is used in written English to talk about how a scene or event appears to somebody 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 flavours 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 colours, 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/​mingle/​blend something into something to mix/​stir/​mingle/​blend something together to mix/​stir/​blend ingredients to mix/​mingle/​blend flavours to mix/​blend colours mixed/​mingled feelings to mix/​stir/​blend something thoroughly/​well/​gently CollocationsCookingPreparing prepare a dish/​a meal/​a menu/​dinner/​the fish weigh out 100g/4oz of sugar/​the ingredients wash/​rinse the lettuce/​spinach/​watercress 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 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/(British English) the grill/(North American English) the broiler bring to (British English) the boil/(North American English) 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/​sugar brown the meat for 8–20 minutes drain the pasta/​the water from the pot/​in a colander mash the potatoes/​banana/​avocadoWays of cooking cook food/​fish/​meat/​rice/​pasta/​a Persian dish bake (a loaf of) bread/​a cake/(especially North American English) cookies/(British English) biscuits/​a pie/​potatoes/​fish/​scones/​muffins boil cabbage/​potatoes/​an egg/​water fry/​deep-fry/​stir-fry the chicken/​vegetables grill meat/​steak/​chicken/​sausages/​a hot dog roast potatoes/​peppers/​meat/​chicken/​lamb sauté garlic/​mushrooms/​onions/​potatoes/​vegetables steam rice/​vegetables/​spinach/​asparagus/​dumplings toast bread/​nuts microwave food/​popcorn/(British English) a ready mealServing serve in a glass/​on a bed of rice/​with potatoes arrange the slices on a plate/​in a layer carve the meat/​lamb/​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 See related entries: Preparing food
  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 somebody move, in order to do something You haven't stirred from that chair all evening! stir yourself/somebody Come on, stir yourself. You're late! Their complaints have finally stirred him into action.
  5. feelings
  6. 4[transitive] stir somebody (to something) to make somebody excited or make them feel something strongly a book that really stirs the imagination She was stirred by his sad story. See related entries: Excitement
  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. cause trouble
  9. 6[transitive, intransitive] stir (it) (British English, informal, disapproving) to try to cause trouble You're just stirring it! see also stirrer More Like This Consonant-doubling verbs bob, club, dub, grab, rub, sob, throb kid, nod, pad, plod, prod, shred, skid, thud beg, blog, bug, drag, drug, flag, hug, jog, log, mug, nag, plug bar, confer, infer, occur, prefer, refer, star, stir, transfer acquit, admit, allot, chat, clot, commit, jut, knit, pat, regret, rot, spot, submit (in British English:) appal, cancel, channel, control, counsel, enrol, equal, excel, fuel, fulfil, label, level, marvel, model, pedal, quarrel, signal, travelSee worksheet.
  10. Word OriginOld English styrian, of Germanic origin; related to German stören ‘disturb’.Extra examples Boil the mixture, stirring frequently. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Chop an onion and stir it into the sauce. Going back there stirred up a lot of memories for her. Gradually stir in the beaten egg. It was not music to set hearts on fire or deeply stir the emotions. Stir over a medium heat for three minutes. The students stirred restlessly in their seats. The wind came in tiny puffs that hardly stirred the surface of the water. The wind hardly stirred the surface of the water. He was stirred by the child’s sad story. It’s a book that really stirs the imagination. Nothing stirred except the wind. She could hear the baby stirring in the next room. The atmosphere in a theatre never failed to stir her blood. The encounter stirred long-forgotten feelings within her. The preachers were stirred to new zeal. This brutal killing has stirred the nation’s conscience. You haven’t stirred from that chair all evening!Idioms to make somebody excited See related entries: Excitement (old-fashioned, British English, informal) to begin to move; to hurry Phrasal Verbsstir somebodyupstir somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: stir