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 Today, former president Donald Trump has selected his running mate, whilst President Joe Biden rejects criticisms that his rhetoric could have incited this past weekend's gunman. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 16 July 2024 Council members said the online videos have incited threats of rape and violence against city officials and caused residents and staff to fear attending meetings. Tracey McManus, Orlando Sentinel, 16 July 2024 Several Republican lawmakers pinned blame Saturday for the shooting on the rhetoric of their political opponents, peppering social media with fiery statements and making unsubstantiated claims that Democrats incited the violence. Tribune News Service, Hartford Courant, 14 July 2024 Meta added that both Biden and Trump would still be subject to the company’s rules against spreading hate speech or inciting violence. Naomi Nix, Washington Post, 12 July 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 24 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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