Definition of stir something up in US English:

stir something up

phrasal verb

  • Cause or provoke trouble or bad feeling.

    ‘he accused me of trying to stir up trouble’
    • ‘On this occasion I am bound to suspect that his quoted views have been obtained by a reporter intent on stirring up controversy by approaching him for his views on a film which he has clearly not seen.’
    • ‘"They have been stirring up chaos in Hong Kong and at the same time they want to change the mainland's political system.’
    • ‘We both laughed nervously and he told me that he had heard that some Asian youths in Leeds had been stirring things up by deliberately leaving rucksacks on buses.’
    • ‘A brewery is stirring up a touch of controversy in the Yorkshire Dales - with an advertising campaign declaring that ‘drinking is folly’.’
    • ‘The far-right ideologue's appearance here is already stirring up a hornet's nest of opposition.’
    • ‘When the film was screened at the Venice film festival, there were a few boos from the audience, but he is happy his work is stirring up a reaction.’
    • ‘As host of a daily phone-in show, he has extensive experience at stirring up arguments among the famously reserved and tolerant populace of Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘But already it seems he is stirring up the kind of controversy which will be very familiar to those who have watched his career from Britain.’
    • ‘He was released in 1999 under the Good Friday Agreement, only to be taken back to jail in August 2000 for allegedly stirring up rivalries among loyalists.’
    • ‘Education Secretary Ruth Kelly is stirring up opposition from teaching unions after putting a localised pay structure for teachers back on the agenda.’
    whip up, work up, foment, fan the flames of, trigger, spark off, excite, provoke, instigate, incite
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