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

Other Words from incite

incitant \ in-​ˈsī-​tᵊnt How to pronounce incite (audio) \ noun
incitement \ in-​ˈsīt-​mənt How to pronounce incite (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 Gold attorney Dickson Young had asked for a sentence of community medical service, saying his client did not commit or incite violence. Spencer S. Hsu, Anchorage Daily News, 16 June 2022 The organizers of the protest—including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale—were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 24 May 2022 Cheney warns that Trump may incite further violence. John Harwood, CNN, 23 May 2021 In the streaming age, such instances were liable to incite wonderment from other art-rock bands. Zach Schonfeld, Billboard, 25 Mar. 2022 Any excuse to incite conflict will do, from COVID lockdowns to protests for racial justice. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Mar. 2022 The same goes for messaging campaigns designed to incite fear among employees. Colin Lodewick, Fortune, 24 Feb. 2022 Several Democratic congressmen have accused Trump and Giuliani of conspiring with far-right groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to incite the attacks. Dan Berman, CNN, 12 Feb. 2022 After the bottom of the first inning, Bellino appeared to use a standard foreign-substance spot check with Bumgarner as a chance to incite a reaction from the Diamondbacks’ pitcher. Nick Piecoro, USA TODAY, 7 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Incite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for incite


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.


transitive verb
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


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on incite

Nglish: Translation of incite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of incite for Arabic Speakers


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