incite

verb
in·​cite | \ in-ˈsīt How to pronounce incite (audio) \
incited; inciting

Definition of incite

transitive verb

: to move to action : stir up : spur on : urge on

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from incite

incitant \ in-​ˈsī-​tᵊnt How to pronounce incitant (audio) \ noun
incitement \ in-​ˈsīt-​mənt How to pronounce incitement (audio) \ noun
inciter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for incite

incite, instigate, abet, foment mean to spur to action. incite stresses a stirring up and urging on, and may or may not imply initiating. inciting a riot instigate definitely implies responsibility for initiating another's action and often connotes underhandedness or evil intention. instigated a conspiracy abet implies both assisting and encouraging. aiding and abetting the enemy foment implies persistence in goading. fomenting rebellion

Examples of incite in a Sentence

The news incited widespread fear and paranoia. the rock band's failure to show up incited a riot, as the crowd had waited for hours

Recent Examples on the Web

The best-case scenario is that the government becomes magnanimous in victory, and begins to heal the society, stops the information operations happening online, holds people accountable who are inciting hate. Hunter Holcombe, CBS News, "A "dictator's playbook" is threatening democracy. This woman is fighting back.," 27 June 2019 Che Guevara was killed in 1967, by a force guided by the CIA, while trying to incite rebellion in the jungles of Bolivia. Rachel Nolan, Harper's magazine, "A Jagged Scrap of History," 24 June 2019 Also, Dieudonné, 47 years old, owes $88,311 in unpaid fines relating to anti-Semitism: seven convictions for inciting racial hatred. Brian Eads, Newsweek, "Are the French Anti-Semitic?," 6 Feb. 2014 Johnson’s policy arguably helped incite the white mobs who murdered scores of black men and women in Memphis and New Orleans in 1866. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, "The Impossibility of Impeachment," 10 June 2019 As for why the scandal fizzled in 2005 and exploded in 2014, chalk it up to social media and the internet for spreading the word and inciting a response. Longreads, "How the Cosby Story Finally Went Viral — And Why It Took So Long," 7 June 2019 They were ordered back to prison in early 2016 to serve out five-year sentences in a case that incited right-wing militias and inspired the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which abuts the Hammond family ranch. oregonlive.com, "Judge temporarily halts grazing on federal public land near Burns," 4 June 2019 At last, Chris unravels what drove him to kidnap a 22-year-old and incite an international incident: guilt. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Black Mirror Season 5, Episode 2 Recap: "Smithereens"," 31 May 2019 There were productions that challenged our nation's current abuse of the Second Amendment, put drag queens at center stage, and incited pangs of unease over the adolescent-experience. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Anna Wintour and Bee Carrozzini Host a Dinner in Honor of the Tony Awards," 20 May 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of incite

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for incite

Middle French inciter, from Latin incitare, from in- + citare to put in motion — more at cite

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about incite

Dictionary Entries near incite

incisive

incisor

incitation

incite

incitingly

incitive

incitory

Statistics for incite

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incite

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for incite

incite

verb

English Language Learners Definition of incite

: to cause (someone) to act in an angry, harmful, or violent way
: to cause (an angry, harmful, or violent action or feeling)

incite

verb
in·​cite | \ in-ˈsīt How to pronounce incite (audio) \
incited; inciting

Kids Definition of incite

: to stir up usually harmful or violent action or feeling The news incited panic.
in·​cite | \ in-ˈsīt How to pronounce incite (audio) \
incited; inciting

Medical Definition of incite

: to bring into being : induce to exist or occur organisms that readily incited antibody formation

Keep scrolling for more

in·​cite | \ in-ˈsīt How to pronounce incite (audio) \
incited; inciting

Legal Definition of incite

: to urge on incite a riot

Other Words from incite

incitement noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on incite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for incite

Spanish Central: Translation of incite

Nglish: Translation of incite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of incite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on incite

What made you want to look up incite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!