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

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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 This map of Houston neighborhoods is sure to incite nostalgia in natives who know the area well. Emilia Benton, Chron, "15 Etsy gifts for the homesick Houstonian this holiday season," 13 Nov. 2020 So, frustrated by this constricting reality, Hamas decided to incite tens of thousands of its own people — many of them armed with guns, firebombs, and bricks — to try to overrun military installations and cross the border into Israel. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Raphael Warnock’s Blood Libel," 13 Nov. 2020 The complaint against Rankin cited the anti-government aims of the Boogaloo Boys, a gun-loving, police-hating extremist group that emerged in the flesh two years ago from anonymous online message boards, animated by a desire to incite a civil war. Brian Chasnoff, ExpressNews.com, "‘Boogaloo Boy’ from San Antonio jailed without bond," 12 Nov. 2020 In each video, Voight employs bold turns of phrase to incite fear and rally support for Trump. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Jon Voight Calls Biden & Democrats Satanic In Bizarre Twitter Video," 11 Nov. 2020 When the evidence contradicts a position, another recourse is to try to incite fear. Sean B. Carroll, Scientific American, "The Denialist Playbook," 8 Nov. 2020 There is no evidence that bricks are purposely being staged in Detroit to incite violence. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Bricks in Detroit are for construction projects, not to incite violence," 4 Nov. 2020 Some analysts worried that the withdrawal would incite others to also drop out or dial back their ambitions unless the U.S. rejoined. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "The U.S. has officially left the Paris Agreement. What happens next?," 4 Nov. 2020 But the president’s claim that the election was being stolen could incite chaos in the days to come. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Election Day Was Peaceful—Then Trump Opened His Mouth," 3 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for incite

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for incite

Last Updated

28 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incite. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for incite

incite

verb
How to pronounce incite (audio)

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

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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

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Comments on incite

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