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incendiary

noun in·cen·di·ary \ in-ˈsen-dē-ˌer-ē ; -ˈsen-də-rē , -dyə- \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of incendiary

plural incendiaries
1 a :a person who commits arson :arsonist
b :a substance or weapon (such as a bomb) used to start fires
2 :a person who excites factions, quarrels, or sedition :agitator

Examples of incendiary in a Sentence

  1. He was convinced that the arsonist was not at all what the town imagined: not brazen, but callow; not an expert incendiary noiselessly plying deer paths, but someone who was driving right up to his targets and fumbling with matches … —Barry WerthNew England MonthlyFebruary 1989
  2. White phosphorus, an incendiary, is normally packed in thin-walled casings; the casing is effective for dispersing chemical agents as well. —Stephen BudianskyNature5–11 Apr. 1984
  3. The British had also made jellied gasoline with rubber, and it was generally recognized to be an excellent incendiary because of its easy ignition, high heat of combustion, and controlled burning rate. —B. & F. M. BrodieFrom Crossbow to H-Bomb1973
  4. firefighters caught the incendiary, who was watching the effects of his handiwork

  5. blamed the protests on outside incendiaries who were intent on overthrowing the government

Recent Examples of incendiary from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incendiary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of incendiary

Middle English, from Latin incendiarius, from incendium conflagration, from incendere

incendiary Synonyms

Synonyms
firebug, arsonist, torch
Related Words
pyromaniac; flamer, igniter (also ignitor), immolator, inflamer, kindler
Near Antonyms
peacemaker, reconciler, uniter

Other Weapons and Explosives Terms


2

incendiary

adjective in·cen·di·ary \ in-ˈsen-dē-ˌer-ē ; -ˈsen-də-rē , -dyə- \

Definition of incendiary

1 :of, relating to, or involving arson :arsonous
2 :tending to excite or inflame :inflammatory
  • incendiary speeches
3 a :igniting combustible materials spontaneously
b :of, relating to, or being a weapon (such as a bomb) designed to start fires
4 :extremely hot
  • incendiary chili peppers

Examples of incendiary in a Sentence

  1. While visual effects experts work with images, mechanical effects experts work with machinery, tools, incendiary devices, and other equipment to manipulate physical events during live-action filming. —Patricia D. NetzleyEncyclopedia of Movie Special Effects2000
  2. In the mid-Eighties, heavy-metal music was the incendiary genre being demonized … —Alan LightRolling Stone18 Feb. 1993
  3. The only caveat … is to know one's own sensitivity to chili pepper heat. If a small or moderate dose of capsicum (the incendiary chemical component in chilies) makes you dash for a glass of ice water, this menu is not going to be fun for you. —Harvey SteimanWine Spectator15 Mar. 1991
  4. The fire was started by an incendiary bomb.

  5. recklessly made incendiary remarks during a period of heightened racial tensions

Recent Examples of incendiary from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incendiary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of incendiary


INCENDIARY Defined for English Language Learners

incendiary

adjective

Definition of incendiary for English Language Learners

  • : containing chemicals that explode into flame : producing a fire

  • : causing anger



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