ig·​nite | \ ig-ˈnīt How to pronounce ignite (audio) \
ignited; igniting

Definition of ignite

transitive verb

1a : to set afire also : kindle
b : to cause (a fuel) to burn
2 : to subject to fire or intense heat especially : to render luminous by heat
3a : to heat up : excite oppression that ignited the hatred of the people
b : to set in motion : spark ignite a debate

intransitive verb

1 : to catch fire
2 : to begin to glow

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Other Words from ignite

ignitability \ ig-​ˌnī-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce ignite (audio) \ noun
ignitable or less commonly ignitible \ ig-​ˈnī-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce ignite (audio) \ adjective
igniter or less commonly ignitor \ ig-​ˈnī-​tər How to pronounce ignite (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for ignite



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Examples of ignite in a Sentence

The fire was ignited by sparks. The paper ignited on contact with sparks. a material that ignites easily Three wins in a row ignited the team. His proposal is igniting opposition.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Roadrunners’ last points were netted with about two minutes left, when Jackson notched a steal to ignite a play that ended with a layup for Eric Parrish, pulling UTSA within 87-86. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "Rice outlasts UTSA in shootout to open Conference USA season," 1 Jan. 2021 Life is short and sports bring a group together to ignite a community. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, "Soccer newsletter: CONCACAF Champions League resumes play this week," 15 Dec. 2020 My colleagues Matthias Gafni and Lizzie Johnson have a gripping, deep look at the Hennessey Fire, one of the first fires to ignite out of the August lightning storms. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Winemakers are worrying about smoke taint, but wine drinkers should not," 10 Sep. 2020 Our mission is to build and support one-to-one relationships to ignite the biggest possible futures for youth. Dallas News, "Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star," 6 Sep. 2020 Taylor's death helped ignite a political and social firestorm this summer, fueling nationwide and international protests over police brutality and injustice for Black Americans killed by police. Tessa Duvall, USA TODAY, "A council refused to appoint a special prosecutor in Breonna Taylor case. An outcry ensued.," 6 Dec. 2020 Trump feared that this could ignite his issues with women, one prominent issue in the 2016 race. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "'We would have won': Brad Parscale laments his removal from Trump campaign," 1 Dec. 2020 News of the destructive fire came as a blow to preservationists who had long feared a fire could ignite at the vacant buildings. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Plans being made for La Jolla site after fire extensively damages 126-year-old cottage," 8 Nov. 2020 Sophomore Olyvia Mamae returned two punts for touchdowns Saturday to ignite the East Thunderbirds in a 19-6 victory over the Chugiak Mustangs in a Cook Inlet Conference flag football game Saturday at East High. Anchorage Daily News, "Punt returns carry East T-birds to flag football victory," 6 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ignite.' 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 ignite

1666, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for ignite

Latin ignitus, past participle of ignire to ignite, from ignis

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Time Traveler for ignite

Time Traveler

The first known use of ignite was in 1666

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Statistics for ignite

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ignite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignite. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for ignite


How to pronounce ignite (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ignite

: to set (something) on fire : to cause (something) to burn
: to begin burning : to catch fire
: to give life or energy to (someone or something)


ig·​nite | \ ig-ˈnīt How to pronounce ignite (audio) \
ignited; igniting

Kids Definition of ignite

1 : to set on fire : light ignite newspaper
2 : to catch fire But the entire Oklahoma Panhandle is so dry, everything is … ready to ignite.— Karen Hesse, Out of the Dust

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Comments on ignite

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