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

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 Their ‘Fu-go’ balloons carried incendiary bombs at 30,000 feet in an unsuccessful attempt to ignite forest fires across the Pacific Northwest. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, 11 Nov. 2021 Assume some part of this quixotic effort to ignite labor militancy across the Bezos empire were to succeed. Jake Bittle, The New Republic, 13 Aug. 2021 Police said there was an attempt to ignite one of the devices. William Sanders, Arkansas Online, 26 Aug. 2020 The duo has made a name for themselves over the past nine years after winning the Best Holiday House decorating contest every year, but after a particularly nasty spat, the two women ignite a town-wide feud just days before Christmas. Kelly Wynne, PEOPLE.com, 10 Dec. 2021 The rocket, flying separately after having detached from the human-carrying capsule, will re-ignite its engines and use its on-board computers to execute a pinpoint, upright landing. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 13 Oct. 2021 The trade will not become official until the new league year opens March 17, but Kiper said a change of scenery could be just what Goff needs to re-ignite his career. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, 2 Mar. 2021 Plus, the decomposing sewage may have produced methane, which could ignite, quite literally lighting a fire under someone. Lina Zeldovich, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Nov. 2021 Mantle Ridge believes Dollar Tree could ignite its underperforming shares by making improvements to its Family Dollar chain and its pricing strategy, the people said. Cara Lombardo, WSJ, 12 Nov. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near ignite

ignis fatuus



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Statistics for ignite

Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ignite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignite. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for ignite



English Language Learners Definition of ignite

: to set (something) on fire : to cause (something) to burn : light
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on ignite

Nglish: Translation of ignite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ignite for Arabic Speakers


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