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 Positive sensory cues often ignite the brain, sparking the flow of fun and happy neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and oxytocin. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "10 Ways To Develop A Fun Routine For Staying Disciplined At Work," 28 Apr. 2021 But his dismissal does ignite something in M after all. Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Rachel Cusk trades in a blank-slate narrator for a tall drink of vinegar," 28 Apr. 2021 When the plants lack moisture, fires ignite much more easily and spread faster. Jennifer Gray, CNN, "The wildfire season is coming quickly and it's coming earlier, California forecasters warn," 15 Apr. 2021 The antislavery constitutionalism that Lincoln embraced and helped develop would become the cornerstone for the politics of the Republican Party and in time would ignite southern secession. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, "Lincoln’s Rowdy America," 13 Apr. 2021 On April 5, the #RethinkPledge will ignite these efforts nationwide, fueled by partnerships with chef-restaurateurs including Sean Brock, Dominique Crenn, Andrew Zimmern, and Danny Meyer. Danielle Bernabe, Fortune, "The next steps for reopening restaurants and bringing communities back together," 10 Apr. 2021 Striving to achieve fairness or demonstrating your allegiance to a cause could ignite a competition. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 10, 2021: Leo, discuss plans with partner; Sagittarius, let imagination run free," 10 Apr. 2021 For gas grills, ignite only the burners on one side. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "Recipe: The Best Recipe for Grilled Chicken, Brined," 22 Mar. 2021 The murder would ignite a rebellion that demanded more than justice. Kandist Mallett, The New Republic, "The Response to the Capitol Riot Is Whitewashing the History of Black Insurrection," 18 Jan. 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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Statistics for ignite

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ignite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignite. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ignite



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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