in·​flame | \ in-ˈflām How to pronounce inflame (audio) \
variants: or less commonly enflame
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 An in-person appearance in a tense environment at the Legislature might further inflame the situation. Chicago Tribune, 28 July 2022 Few cultural disputes inflame British passions more than the disposition of the Parthenon Marbles. New York Times, 8 July 2022 Charismatic fauna, like wolves, often inflame those battles because they’re seen as both livestock-killing villains and vital parts of the ecosystem. Heather Hansman, The Atlantic, 10 May 2022 The virus that causes chicken pox stays dormant in the body until something triggers it, returning in form of herpes zoster (Ramsay Hunt), which can inflame different nerves in the abdomen, back and face. Glenn Garner,, 10 June 2022 Four shorts explore the surprising ways in which unexpected catalysts inflame the uncomfortable emotions simmering under fractured relationships. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 11 Apr. 2021 Sune Rasmussen explains how his death may inflame tensions in the Middle East. Jared Malsin, WSJ, 5 Jan. 2022 But such arguments are more likely to inflame resistance than foster dialogue. Julia Minson, Time, 20 Apr. 2022 Opposing counsel has orchestrated a circus-like atmosphere by using social media to publicize 14 ‘Jane Doe’ lawsuits during the past seven days in a manner calculated to inflame the public and malign Deshaun’s otherwise sterling reputation. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, 19 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

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inflame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 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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