in·flame | \ in-ˈflām \
variants: or less commonly
inflamed also enflamed; inflaming also enflaming

Definition of inflame 

transitive verb

1a : to excite to excessive or uncontrollable action or feeling especially : to make angry

b : to make more heated or violent : intensify insults served only to inflame the feud

2 : to set on fire : kindle

3 : to cause to redden or grow hot from anger or excitement a face inflamed with passion

4 : to cause inflammation in (bodily tissue)

intransitive verb

1 : to burst into flame

2 : to become excited or angered

3 : to become affected with inflammation

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Other words from inflame

inflamer noun

Examples of inflame in a Sentence

His angry speech inflamed the mob. ideas that inflame the imagination His comments have inflamed an already tense situation. inflaming the passions of the mob a chemical that can inflame the skin
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Recent Examples on the Web

According to the American Cancer Society, one prevailing theory is that small mineral particles could travel up through the fallopian tubes and ovaries, inflaming the tissue, which can encourage cancer growth. Elizabeth Inglese, Vogue, "Why Johnson & Johnson’s $4.7 Billion Baby Powder Lawsuit Is Important for Women Everywhere," 13 July 2018 On May 4th construction began on Nordstream 2, a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany which bypasses Poland and inflames historical fears of being caught between the two powers on either side. The Economist, "Germany’s troubled relations with the Visegrad states show the limits to its power," 14 June 2018 Notwithstanding the shaky ethics of a London P.R. firm inflaming a debate about racial and economic inequality in South Africa in order to benefit a rich family with government connections, the Oakbay work was a flagrant conflict of interest. Ed Caesar, The New Yorker, "The Reputation-Laundering Firm That Ruined Its Own Reputation," 25 May 2018 Hartford social media groups were inflamed Thursday by the camera malfunction, which Bronin attributed to an overheated modem. Matthew Ormseth,, "Timeline Of A Tragedy: Hours Passed Before Drowned Boy Was Reported Missing, City Cameras Failed To Alert Police," 6 July 2018 The Syrian regime is threatening to move against an antigovernment stronghold in the country’s southwest, raising pressure on Russia to keep Iran and its proxies out of a fight that could inflame tensions with Syria’s neighbor, Israel. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Rising Tensions in Syria’s Southwest Complicate Moscow’s Ties with Tehran," 29 May 2018 Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail to make the move, and it's widely seen as a decision that will jeopardize the stability of the region and further inflame tensions between Palestinians and the Israeli military. Luke Darby, GQ, "The Pastor Trump Chose to Open the New Jerusalem Embassy Is an Anti-Muslim Troll," 14 May 2018 Impeachment is a blunt political tool, liable to inflame underlying disagreements. The Economist, "The case against impeachment," 12 July 2018 Jose Maria Sison said Duterte wants the guerrillas to surrender without addressing the social ills that have inflamed one of Asia's longest communist rebellions. Jim Gomez, Fox News, "Communist rebels tell Philippine leader: No more talks," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inflame.' 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 inflame

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for inflame

Middle English enflamen, from Anglo-French enflamer, from Latin inflammare, from in- + flamma flame

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Statistics for inflame

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inflame

The first known use of inflame was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for inflame



English Language Learners Definition of inflame

: to cause (a person or group) to become angry or violent

: to make (something) more active, angry, or violent

: to cause (a part of your body) to grow sore, red, and swollen


in·flame | \ in-ˈflām \
inflamed; inflaming

Kids Definition of inflame

1 : to make more active, excited, angry, or violent His words inflamed the crowd.

2 : to cause to redden or grow hot (as from anger)

3 : to make or become sore, red, and swollen The chemical can inflame the skin.


in·flame | \ in-ˈflām \
inflamed; inflaming

Medical Definition of inflame 

transitive verb

: to cause inflammation in (bodily tissue) inflame the sinuses

intransitive verb

: to become affected with inflammation

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More from Merriam-Webster on inflame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inflame

Spanish Central: Translation of inflame

Nglish: Translation of inflame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inflame for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inflame

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