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 managers laid out the timeline of the president’s efforts to inflame supporters, setting the stage for the eventual outburst of violence at the Capitol. New York Times, "Graphic Video of Capitol Attack Leaves Emotions Raw but May Not Change Votes," 10 Feb. 2021 That decision is likely to inflame already volatile relations with the US, even though President Trump walked away from the deal in 2018 in favor of sanctions against the country. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for January 5: Senate runoffs, Covid, transition, Jacob Blake, Iran," 5 Jan. 2021 According to his indictment, first issued in 1997 and updated in 2011, Kabuga and others operated the RTLM radio station and used its broadcasts to inflame ethnic hatred against Tutsis. Mike Corder, Star Tribune, "Rwandan genocide suspect enters not guilty pleas at UN court," 11 Nov. 2020 In humans, ground-level ozone pollution can damage and inflame the lungs and worsen respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Study Estimates Clean Air Act Has Saved 1.5 Billion Birds," 2 Dec. 2020 And our finances – still considered the main measure of our worth and success even as more of us open our eyes to the flaws of this capitalist logic during COVID-19 – can inflame the competition and comparison that already exists between sisters. Natalie Gil,, "My Sister Earns £117,000 More Than Me," 8 Nov. 2020 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

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

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inflame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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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 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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