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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The context of Orbán’s incendiary comments is Hungary’s mounting economic crisis, according to Péter Krekó, a fellow with the Center for European Policy Analysis in Budapest. Patrick Smith, NBC News, 4 Aug. 2022 Stenson, 46, had been linked to LIV Golf for several months, but effectively changed his mind following the publication of Phil Mickelson’s incendiary comments late last year, which seemed to postpone the launch of the rival league. Adam Schupak, USA TODAY, 20 July 2022 His sponsors dropped him after incendiary comments made to the journalist Alan Shipnuck became public. New York Times, 13 June 2022 Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, told state media in April that Russia may leave the ISS within a year, though Rogozin’s history of incendiary comments may indicate that’s an empty threat. Derek Saul, Forbes, 3 June 2022 Shapiro, who has a history of incendiary comments about race and sexuality, has seen his following spike by more than 400,000 since the Musk purchase, bringing his total following to more than 4.3 million. Madison Dong, Washington Post, 13 May 2022 Until very recently, most people were unaware that asserting that only women can menstruate and become pregnant could be controversial, or that pronouns could be incendiary. Abigail Anthony, National Review, 24 July 2022 The sound of that album was just completely incendiary. Liza Lentini, SPIN, 8 July 2022 The allegation was potentially incendiary because the 2016 election was less than two months away. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 31 May 2022 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 See More

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.

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

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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

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Incendiary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incendiary. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of incendiary for Spanish Speakers

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