ignite

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for ignite

Synonyms

burn, enkindle, fire, inflame (also enflame), kindle, light, torch

Antonyms

douse (also dowse), extinguish, put out, quench, snuff (out)

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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 stark contrast between them ignited debate and protests nationwide. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "The Time 100 List Includes Both Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh—and People Have Thoughts," 17 Apr. 2019 Amazon’s decision to abandon the project has merely ignited a broader debate. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, "‘The Enlightened Capitalists’ Review: Profiting From High Ideals," 25 Feb. 2019 The news is sure to ignite debate (watch the fur fly!) among dog owners and scientists who study canine behavior. Laura M. Holson, The Seattle Times, "Your Dog May Be Smart, but She’s Not Exceptional," 8 Oct. 2018 The collapse of a section of the Morandi motorway bridge and the deaths of those crossing in vehicles has ignited a fierce debate in Italy about the nation's infrastructure, according to the BBC. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Genoa holds state funeral for 19 victims as toll rises to 42 in Italy bridge collapse," 18 Aug. 2018 But only celebrity babies' lobes have the power to ignite an Internet debate about the safety of body jewelry for youngsters. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Kylie Jenner and Stormi spark debate: How old must a baby be before getting pierced ears?," 12 July 2018 The shooting was all but certain to re-ignite the national debate over gun regulations. Juan A. Lozano, The Christian Science Monitor, "Texas school shooting draws attention back to student gun control efforts," 18 May 2018 Rather than a sci-fi writer or crime novelist, the author to ignite such fanfare was Tonne Goodman, the legendary fashion editor who published Point of View, a visual memoir that documents her illustrious career at Vogue and other fashion magazines. Ian Malone, Vogue, "A Vogue-heavy Crowd Came Out to Tonne Goodman’s Point of View Book Party at Bookmarc," 17 Apr. 2019 Several factors converged to ignite my obsession with wealthy-looking hair. Veronica Walsingham, SELF, "Growing Up With Less Money Than My Friends Made Me Obsessed With Having Wealthy-Looking Hair," 15 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for ignite

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ignite

The first known use of ignite was in 1666

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More Definitions for ignite

ignite

verb

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)

ignite

verb
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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More from Merriam-Webster on ignite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ignite

Spanish Central: Translation of ignite

Nglish: Translation of ignite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ignite for Arabic Speakers

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