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



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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 At least 58 fires have ignited across the state since Oct. 1, according to Cal Fire, torching more than 115,000 acres. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "Power outages, again? 750K people in Northern California could be left in the dark this week, PG&E warns," 19 Nov. 2019 California's largest utility admitted its electrical equipment may have ignited the wildfire amid Sonoma County's vineyards despite blackouts imposed to prevent blazes. Stefanie Dazio And Brian Melley, chicagotribune.com, "Firefighters race to control blazes before winds roar back as California’s biggest utility admits it may have ignited wine country fire," 25 Oct. 2019 California's biggest utility admitted its electrical equipment may have ignited a wildfire burning in wine country Friday, despite blackouts imposed across the region to prevent blazes. CBS News, "Utility admits it may have ignited wine country wildfire as 2nd blaze destroys homes near L.A.," 25 Oct. 2019 Expansion has ignited a row over divvying up new slots. The Economist, "The world’s 19th-favourite airline British Airways’ profits may not fly high much longer," 19 Oct. 2019 The trust’s efforts to take control from the local board that manages the property have ignited strong emotions from supporters of the estate at 900 N. Birch Road, a vestige of Old Florida amid the hotels and condominiums of Fort Lauderdale beach. Lois K. Solomon, sun-sentinel.com, "Bonnet House and state trust to work on truce," 10 Oct. 2019 If adopted widely, it could be applied around the roads and utility infrastructure where 84 percent of California’s 300,000 fires in the last decade have ignited. Wired, "A Wildfire Vaccine, Elon's New Starship, and More News," 30 Sep. 2019 After eliminating his leg kick, Kolten Wong has ignited the lineup out of the second spot with his ability to hit the ball to all fields and elite speed. Matt Martell, SI.com, "Three Reasons the Surging Cardinals Can Win the World Series," 25 Sep. 2019 The latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa have ignited the long-standing tensions between the country and Nigeria. Gilbert M Khadiagala, Quartz Africa, "Nigerians aren’t targeted more than other Africans in South Africa’s xenophobic attacks but the damage is done," 12 Sep. 2019

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

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ignite.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignited. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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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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

Comments on ignite

What made you want to look up ignite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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