incendiary

adjective
in·​cen·​di·​ary | \ in-ˈsen-dē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce incendiary (audio) ; -ˈsen-də-rē How to pronounce incendiary (audio) , -dyə- \

Definition of incendiary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

incendiary

noun
plural incendiaries

Definition of incendiary (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms for incendiary

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of incendiary in a Sentence

Adjective 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. Netzley, Encyclopedia of Movie Special Effects, 2000 In the mid-Eighties, heavy-metal music was the incendiary genre being demonized … — Alan Light, Rolling Stone, 18 Feb. 1993 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 Steiman, Wine Spectator, 15 Mar. 1991 The fire was started by an incendiary bomb. recklessly made incendiary remarks during a period of heightened racial tensions Noun 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 Werth, New England Monthly, February 1989 White phosphorus, an incendiary, is normally packed in thin-walled casings; the casing is effective for dispersing chemical agents as well. — Stephen Budiansky, Nature, 5–11 Apr. 1984 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. Brodie, From Crossbow to H-Bomb, 1973 firefighters caught the incendiary, who was watching the effects of his handiwork blamed the protests on outside incendiaries who were intent on overthrowing the government
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The man was charged with a felony of false report of an explosive or incendiary device. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 30 June 2021 This is not the first time Greene, a freshman Georgia Republican who was stripped of her committee assignments because of incendiary and violent past statements, has had run ins with her Democratic colleagues in the House. Daniella Diaz, CNN, 13 May 2021 The arsenal's mission changed to making smoke, incendiary and pyrotechnic devices. Rex Nelson, Arkansas Online, 15 Feb. 2021 Gaza’s residents lived through another night of terror on Tuesday after helium balloons carrying incendiary devices were floated onto Israeli territory. Dalia Hatuqa, The New Republic, 17 June 2021 In total, 217 fires in Utah last year were caused by fireworks and other incendiary devices. Owen Tucker-smith, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 June 2021 So far authorities have not reported any casualties from such incendiary devices. Hadas Gold, CNN, 16 June 2021 And 10 days later, a group of three adult men threw incendiary devices at a separate 7-Eleven in Temple Hills before fleeing the scene in a silver sedan, officials said. Washington Post, 29 May 2021 Gaza militants have fired rockets and balloons with incendiary devices attached to them in support of the protesters as an informal cease-fire with Israel has started to fray. Joseph Krauss, USA TODAY, 10 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The handful of structures that survived the inferno, including the doctors’ wood-frame residences, were torched the next night, after the incendiaries came back and took a battering ram to the Women’s Hospital. John Freeman Gill, New York Times, 8 May 2020 After two nights of intensive bombing with high explosives and incendiaries, several square miles burn for hours at hundreds of degrees Centigrade, an inferno consuming every living creature. Matthew Sturgis, The New York Review of Books, 21 Mar. 2019 Hamas, in turn, has staged weekly riots at the Gaza barrier and unleashed flying incendiaries that have wreaked massive ecological damage. WSJ, 6 Nov. 2018 Among the authors were right-wing incendiaries like Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Ann Coulter. John Sharp, AL.com, 4 Feb. 2018 White phosphorus, along with other incendiaries, has been used by Syrian government forces battling insurgents in Aleppo and elsewhere. Anne Barnard, New York Times, 10 June 2017 The bombardier dropped four incendiaries, setting the factory ablaze. National Geographic, 15 Apr. 2017 But incendiaries, barrel bombs and missiles can do just as much damage to civilians as gas — which Assad didn’t necessarily use or intend to use in the future, anyway. Leonid Bershidsky, The Denver Post, 22 Apr. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of incendiary

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2b

History and Etymology for incendiary

Noun and Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for incendiary

Time Traveler

The first known use of incendiary was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near incendiary

incendiarist

incendiary

incendiary bomb

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Statistics for incendiary

Last Updated

17 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incendiary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incendiary. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for incendiary

incendiary

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of incendiary

: containing chemicals that explode into flame : producing a fire
: causing anger

More from Merriam-Webster on incendiary

Nglish: Translation of incendiary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of incendiary for Arabic Speakers

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