foment was our Word of the Day on 12/16/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of foment in a Sentence
He was accused of fomenting violence.
John Adams's wife, Abigail, told him that if women were not remembered by the new American government, they would “foment a Rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice or Representation”.
Recent Examples of foment from the Web
The story is eerily relevant today, with themes of ostracizing and degrading people because of their race or physical disabilities, and fomenting hate and anger for personal or political gain by the powers that be.
Still, the idea that Sanders had fomented the shooting with his angry anti-establishment populist language was taken up even by mainstream news outlets like the New York Times and CNN, albeit in a more measured manner.
The White House press office did not immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment, but in the past, has denied allegations that the culture of the administration is fomenting hate.
Every cable news pundit will explain how this newly toxic political environment fomented the hate and rage that led to James T. Hodgkinson’s brutal attack.
That sense of relief is shared throughout this nation, which also wonders how long North Korea will be permitted to continue its nuclear designs and to foment dangerous international threats.
A crisis is roiling the Gulf as Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse Qatar of fomenting instability.
Iran is also accused of fomenting unrest among minority Shia populations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other countries.
It was set up in 1940 to foment sabotage and subversion in occupied Europe.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foment'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
If you had sore muscles in the 1600s, your doctor might have advised you to foment the injury, perhaps with heated lotions or warm wax. Does this sound like an odd prescription? Not if you know that "foment" traces to the Latin verb fovēre, which means "to heat." The earliest documented English uses of "foment" appear in medical texts offering advice on how to soothe various aches and pains by the application of moist heat. But the idea of applying heat can also be a metaphor for stimulating or rousing to action. Within 50 years of its English debut, "foment" was also being used in political contexts to mean "to stir up," "to call to action," or, in a sense at least figuratively opposite to its original one, "to irritate."
Origin and Etymology of foment
Middle English, to apply a warm substance to, from Late Latin fomentare, from Latin fomentum compress, from fovēre to heat, soothe; akin to Lithuanian degti to burn, Sanskrit dahati it burns
First Known Use: circa 1613See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of foment
FOMENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of foment for English Language Learners
: to cause or try to cause the growth or development of (something bad or harmful)
Medical Definition of foment
: to treat with moist heat (as for easing pain)
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up foment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).