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 Therefore, sleeping on a pillow that causes any bit of extreme forward tilt, backward bend, or side tilt can set off underlying issues and incite pain or misalignment. Rennie Dyball,, 12 July 2022 The Bloc has teamed up with the National Black Child Development Institute to create The ABCs of Survival— a dual purpose book to educate parents and Black youth, incite action, and change laws. Jennifer "jay" Palumbo, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2021 Around the world, educators who incite hate and violence are removed. Fox News, 24 June 2022 Twitter also labels tweets that are factually inaccurate or that might incite violence. Mike Isaac, New York Times, 10 May 2022 The clashing nationalist appeals have inspired extremists in other countries to take sides in the fight — and to seek combat experience that could incite conflict far from today’s front line. Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2022 Officers will also enforce all laws for spectators who incite drivers for spinning of wheels or burn-outs, as well as for the driver. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 19 May 2022 Reading can also, as Dickinson discovered, incite almost inordinate forms of joy. Jane Yong Kim, The Atlantic, 16 May 2022 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 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

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Incite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 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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