incite

verb

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

transitive verb

: to move to action : stir up : spur on : urge on
incitant noun
incitement 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 Trump’s lawyers want Cannon to only move forward on two issues in the case: Smith's request for a gag order preventing Trump from making comments that could incite threats against FBI agents working the case, and whether Smith was properly appointed to his job as special counsel. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 8 July 2024 The film’s depiction of the natural world was additionally incited by his use of primary tones, animal prints, and the intricate detailing infused in the collection. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 27 June 2024 In 2023, a quasi-independent oversight board for Facebook’s parent company Meta (META) recommended that Hun Sen’s Facebook and Instagram accounts be suspended for six months for using language that could incite violence, according to Reuters. Heather Chen, CNN, 27 June 2024 Some Fu Bao fans in China went to Sichuan to harass the panda experts and keepers, uploading their photos online to incite cyberbullying. Cheng Wong, NBC News, 25 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for incite 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'incite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near incite

Cite this Entry

“Incite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incite. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

incite

verb
in·​cite in-ˈsīt How to pronounce incite (audio)
incited; inciting
: to move to action : stir up
inciter noun

Medical Definition

incite

transitive verb
in·​cite in-ˈsīt How to pronounce incite (audio)
incited; inciting
: to bring into being : induce to exist or occur
organisms that readily incited antibody formation

Legal Definition

incite

transitive verb
in·​cite in-ˈsīt How to pronounce incite (audio)
incited; inciting
: to urge on
incite a riot
incitement noun

More from Merriam-Webster on incite

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