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 day after the riot, acting U.S. attorney Michael Sherwin of Washington told reporters that investigators might examine incendiary statements by the president and other speakers at his rally. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Trump said to do so’: Accounts of rioters who say the president spurred them to rush the Capitol could be pivotal testimony," 16 Jan. 2021 Several of Falwell’s more incendiary recent public statements were connected to his political conservatism and his support for Trump. Sarah Rankin And Elana Schor, chicagotribune.com, "Jerry Falwell Jr. now says he’s resigned from Liberty University, evangelical college founded by his late father," 25 Aug. 2020 The episode showed President Trump making a number of incendiary statements as well as images of his fanatic followers and the movement rising against them. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, "Black-ish‘s Lost Episode Is Terrifyingly Timely," 11 Aug. 2020 The House, in an overwhelmingly party-line vote, stripped Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments over her past incendiary statements and social media interactions. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, "House Democrats strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of committee assignments," 4 Feb. 2021 Before joining Congress, Greene was one of the countless right-wing figures who built an audience on social-media platforms by making steadily more incendiary claims. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Everyone Wins If the Republicans Banish Marjorie Taylor Greene—Including Her," 3 Feb. 2021 The New York Times personal-finance columnist and parent brings clarity to a murky process and often incendiary topic. Chris Farrell, Star Tribune, "Looking for help navigating the college maze? Read this book!," 23 Jan. 2021 The ban was upheld in the Supreme Court, which said that despite the president’s incendiary words about Muslims, the ban was justified as an antiterrorism policy. New York Times, "Barred From U.S. Under Trump, Muslims Exult in Biden’s Open Door," 23 Jan. 2021 Of course, the incendiary vulgarity of the past four years set the bar so low that anything more than a monster truck exhibition might have seemed artful. Washington Post, "America yearns for an era of good feeling. The inaugural ceremony launched one.," 20 Jan. 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, "A Quarantine Hospital So Unwelcome that New Yorkers Burned it Down," 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, "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

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incendiary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incendiary. Accessed 2 Mar. 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

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Comments on incendiary

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