in·​flame | \ in-ˈflām How to pronounce inflame (audio) \
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 The rise of Telegram and Signal could inflame the debate over encryption, which helps protect the privacy of people’s digital communications but can stymie the authorities in crime investigations because conversations are hidden. New York Times, "Millions Flock to Telegram and Signal as Fears Grow Over Big Tech," 13 Jan. 2021 There can be other contributing factors as well, like bacteria that inflame your skin. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "Is It Possible to Get Rid of a Pimple Overnight?," 30 Dec. 2020 John Fischetti, who waited in line more than two hours to enter Trump’s Fayetteville rally, said replacing Ginsburg would inflame tensions but was within the president’s rights. Jonathan Lemire, Star Tribune, "Trump pledges woman for court, pushes Senate to move on pick," 19 Sep. 2020 Many Jewish DPs dreamed of refuge in Palestine, a prospect anathema to Britain because its leaders sought to avoid circumstances that would inflame Arab-Jewish tensions in a tiny but explosive corner of its crumbling empire. Seth Stern, The Christian Science Monitor, "Displaced: ‘The Last Million’ refugees to leave Europe after World War II," 30 Sep. 2020 Adjuvants are safe, but designed to inflame To make vaccines more effective, whole labs have been dedicated to the testing and development of new adjuvants. Matthew Woodruff, The Conversation, "Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 will have side effects – that’s a good thing," 3 Dec. 2020 Search engines direct Andy to sites that inflame his suspicions, and social media connects him with like-minded people, feeding his fears. Filippo Menczer, Scientific American, "Information Overload Helps Fake News Spread, and Social Media Knows It," 20 Nov. 2020 As individual governments charted their own course, the resulting imbalances threaten to inflame political sensitivities. Washington Post, "Trump could be a no-show at virtual G-20 as coronavirus ravages the globe," 20 Nov. 2020 Experts have warned that Thanksgiving and Christmas could further inflame the current outbreak and expose vulnerable and elderly populations to the virus. Jeff Adelson,, "Weekend case, hospitalization numbers show continued rapid spread of coronavirus in Louisiana," 15 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for inflame

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for inflame

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inflame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for inflame


How to pronounce inflame (audio)

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 How to pronounce inflame (audio) \
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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Comments on inflame

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