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 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 Forward-facing organizations are beginning to incite action and engage with talent through top innovative practices. Benjamin Laker, Forbes, "Talent Exodus: A Perfect Storm For Leaders?," 6 May 2021 The reason is obvious—with greater influence comes greater ability to incite violence. David French, Time, "The Facebook Oversight Board's Decision Didn't Change Much for Trump. But It Could Have Implications Far Beyond Him," 6 May 2021 Facebook's independent oversight board has decided that former President Trump was properly punished for helping incite the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Can any carrier’s 5G claims match its 5G service?," 5 May 2021 Trump could easily take to some other website or social media account tomorrow to incite the same people who stormed the Capitol in January to do so again. Kara Alaimo, CNN, "The only decision Facebook should make on Trump," 5 May 2021 Just before federal agents closed in, its members had been figuring out how to sabotage the power grid in Los Angeles, hoping to incite riots and looting. New York Times, "From the Past, a Chilling Warning About the Extremists of the Present," 1 May 2021 Last summer’s protests over the murder of George Floyd prompted Snap to talk publicly about off-platform rules: CEO Evan Spiegel announced Snapchat would not promote accounts of people who incite racial violence, including off the app. Elizabeth Culliford, The Christian Science Monitor, "Should what you do offline get you banned from social media?," 28 Apr. 2021 Trump, who often singled out women of color for derision, was hoping the image of a shadow Kamala Harris presidency would incite his base. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: 100 days in, Kamala Harris quells talk of her own ambitions," 28 Apr. 2021 In May, three former service members were arrested for allegedly plotting to incite a violent attack against a Black Lives Matter protest in Las Vegas. Luis Martinez, ABC News, "The military is concerned about extremism in its ranks. Here's what to know.," 28 Apr. 2021

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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Incite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incite. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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

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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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