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 Using napalm and other incendiary devices, the ship was set ablaze on Feb. 10, but only one of the five diesel tanks on board was successfully emptied of fuel. oregonlive, "Napalm, a torpedo and 70,000 gallons of spilled oil: An environmental disaster on the Oregon coast, 21 years later," 4 Feb. 2020 Lieberman, a right-winger with a history of incendiary remarks about Arabs, has demanded a national unity government with Likud and Blue and White. Joseph Krauss, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Israel’s Arabs poised to gain new voice after tight election," 18 Sep. 2019 But to go through all of Walsh’s past incendiary remarks about race, urban crime and underdeveloped countries (about which Walsh used the same barnyard language that had been attributed to Trump), would take all day. Clarence Page, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Why I appreciate presidential candidate Joe Walsh — for now," 27 Aug. 2019 While Johnson's stance on Brexit has defined his leadership bid, his incendiary remarks on everything from religion to race have sparked criticism about his character, and his malleable political views have raised questions about his convictions. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister at critical moment for UK," 24 July 2019 Along with the incendiary comments about undocumented immigrants and the unfairness of the Fourteenth Amendment, the conference speakers had plenty of concrete advice for their audience. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "Election Bias," 6 Jan. 2020 The American president has not shied away from incendiary comments and under his presidency hate crimes are on the rise. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "The state of global right-wing populism in 2019," 30 Dec. 2019 According to Israeli media reports, Likud officials cautioned Netanyahu and his proxies to back off the incendiary rhetoric, warning that a war on law enforcement would come back to hurt the party politically. BostonGlobe.com, "JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was struggling to both stoke and contain a popular backlash against prosecutors as some of his own supporters distanced themselves from the bellicose rhetoric he has employed since being indicted last week on bribery and fraud charges.," 28 Nov. 2019 But outside Dayton’s Miami Valley Hospital, at least 200 protesters gathered, blaming Trump’s incendiary rhetoric for inflaming political and racial tensions in the country and demanding action on gun control . Jill Colvin, The Denver Post, "Protesters chant as President Trump visits Dayton, El Paso," 7 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "Geoffrey Wheatcroft," 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, "Try Something New After 70 Years of Failure," 6 Nov. 2018 Among the authors were right-wing incendiaries like Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Ann Coulter. John Sharp, AL.com, "How an Alabama classroom and a right-wing reading list put a fresh rip in America's partisan divide," 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, "U.S.-Led Forces Said to Have Used White Phosphorus in Syria," 10 June 2017 The bombardier dropped four incendiaries, setting the factory ablaze. National Geographic, "Trained in Secret, These Fearless Pilots Retaliated for Pearl Harbor," 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, "Trump’s missiles hit U.S. critics, not Assad," 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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Statistics for incendiary

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incendiary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incendiary. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for incendiary

incendiary

adjective
How to pronounce incendiary (audio) How to pronounce incendiary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of incendiary

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

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