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 The news of his murder surfaced on a national scale when a video of the death made its way across social media late last week, igniting a call for justice 74 days after his murder. Shanika Hillocks, Bon Appétit, "I Run For My Health. Do I Have to Fear For My Life?," 12 May 2020 Resources need to be dedicated toward these issues rather than igniting the arms race of Cold War days. WSJ, "U.S. Is in a Weak Position on Chinese Nukes," 4 May 2020 Filling the void Page’s observation suggests a final reason why the coronavirus pandemic has ignited such a flurry of gardening. Jennifer Atkinson, The Conversation, "The impulse to garden in hard times has deep roots," 1 May 2020 January 2020: Reunited with Zayn After igniting rumors of a reconciliation (Hadid posted an Instagram story and tagged Malik's mom), the pair are spotted in N.Y.C., arm-in-arm. Andrea Wurzburger, PEOPLE.com, "Baby Makes 3! Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik's Relationship History From VOGUE Covers to Parenthood," 30 Apr. 2020 This allows the fire to spread evenly and burn for longer without needing to be re-ignited. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Light a Fire in Your Fireplace," 20 Apr. 2020 Social distancing, however, has left plenty of time for at-home manicures, in turn igniting the new hashtag #quarantinenails. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, "#QuarantineNails Is the Instagram Nail-Art Trend We Didn't Know We Needed," 3 Apr. 2020 In 2015, Dylann Roof killed nine African-American parishioners in a Charlestown church with the aim of igniting a race war. 1843, "Confederacy in the ’hood," 2 Apr. 2020 Put simply, gasping for breath at night and not giving your body a thorough rest puts a lot of pressure on the cardiovascular system, raises adrenaline levels and ignites inflammation. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "Sleep Apnea Is Different for Women," 29 Mar. 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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ignite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignite. Accessed 2 Jun. 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

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