foment

verb
fo·​ment | \ ˈfō-ˌment, fō-ˈment \
fomented; fomenting; foments

Definition of foment

transitive verb

: to promote the growth or development of : rouse, incite foment a rebellion was accused of fomenting a riot

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Other Words from foment

fomenter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for foment

incite, instigate, abet, foment mean to spur to action. incite stresses a stirring up and urging on, and may or may not imply initiating. inciting a riot instigate definitely implies responsibility for initiating another's action and often connotes underhandedness or evil intention. instigated a conspiracy abet implies both assisting and encouraging. aiding and abetting the enemy foment implies persistence in goading. fomenting rebellion

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."

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 on the Web

President Donald Trump cast blame on the media for fomenting anger in society, while candidates across the country traded partisan broadsides. Jonathan Lemire, The Seattle Times, "A short-lived call for unity shelved for political barbs," 26 Oct. 2018 Montague is working hard to expand the government's access to personal data in the name of safety, and is often accused of fomenting fear to achieve her ends. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Hit U.K. Show Bodyguard Is Now on Netflix," 26 Oct. 2018 For Forman, that consists of fomenting a new type of border culture. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "A new U.S.-Mexico border? At the Venice Biennale, imagining a binational region called MEXUS," 23 May 2018 Hamas specifically fomented this violence in order to elicit this type of coverage. Fox News, "N.Y. Times' mea culpa on FBI probe," 21 May 2018 Most provocatively, the pages seemed to be focused in part on fomenting real-world dissent. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A shadowy influence campaign on Facebook is targeting liberal activists," 1 Aug. 2018 In most cases, socialism’s monopoly on economic control also fomented corruption by government officials, as was especially apparent in Latin American and African socialist regimes. James Freeman, WSJ, "Capitalism: Still Working," 15 Nov. 2018 The Trump administration has condemned Venezuela’s government for fomenting an escalating humanitarian and economic crisis, and has sanctioned top Venezuelan officials. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Decoding Bolsonaro’s “make Brazil great” foreign policy," 31 Oct. 2018 In the welter of German revolution the Jews fomented a German Republic essentially Marxist. Lily Rothman, Time, "'It's Not That the Story Was Buried.' What Americans in the 1930s Really Knew About What Was Happening in Germany," 10 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of foment

circa 1613, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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Dictionary Entries near foment

Folsom

Folsomoid

Fomalhaut

foment

fomentation

Fomes

fomite

Statistics for foment

Last Updated

27 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foment

The first known use of foment was circa 1613

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More Definitions for foment

foment

verb

English Language Learners Definition of foment

: to cause or try to cause the growth or development of (something bad or harmful)

foment

noun
fo·​ment | \ ˈfō-ˌment \

Medical Definition of foment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

fo·​ment | \ fō-ˈment \

Medical Definition of foment (Entry 2 of 2)

: to treat with moist heat (as for easing pain)

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More from Merriam-Webster on foment

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foment

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foment

Spanish Central: Translation of foment

Nglish: Translation of foment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foment for Arabic Speakers

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