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

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
Recent Examples on the Web Amid fears that customs checks along the Irish border would inflame sectarian tensions, the U.K. and EU agreed to put a customs border in the Irish Sea, between Britain and Northern Ireland. Max Colchester, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Experts suspect that smoking may inflame the sweat glands and cause pustules to form, according to NORD. Fatima Fahs, SELF, 29 Apr. 2022 But the hostilities showed how easily one spark could inflame tensions between two countries whose relations have been fragile since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan last summer. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Their move could further inflame a tortuous debate among scientists over when and how the vaccines’ protection should be bolstered, and for whom. New York Times, 15 Mar. 2022 This is no small matter — the only way Democrats can enact such laws would be to at least partially jettison the Senate’s filibuster rule, a move that would inflame political tensions and alter the chamber’s dynamics for years to come. Arit John, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2022 There are two overriding factors that inflame the situation. Steve West,, 16 July 2021 The Chronicle has uncovered an extraordinary new set of players in the spread of fake news and disinformation: Internet entrepreneurs in developing countries who take advantage of Western political division — and inflame it. Gwendolyn Wu, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 Mar. 2022 Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, raised the prospect that Poland’s proposal could inflame tensions with Russia, which has depicted the conflict in Ukraine as one against Western aggression. Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near inflame

in flagrante delicto



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Statistics for inflame

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inflame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for inflame


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

More from Merriam-Webster on inflame

Nglish: Translation of inflame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inflame for Arabic Speakers


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