in·​flam·​ma·​to·​ry in-ˈfla-mə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce inflammatory (audio)
: tending to excite anger, disorder, or tumult : seditious
: tending to inflame or excite the senses
: accompanied by or tending to cause inflammation
inflammatorily adverb

Examples of inflammatory in a Sentence

She had an acute inflammatory reaction to the drug. He incited the mob with an inflammatory speech.
Recent Examples on the Web The liquid suctioned out of her lungs was teeming with inflammatory cells. Lisa Sanders, M.d., New York Times, 16 May 2024 In the book there are inflammatory stories about, among others, Steve Albini and Courtney Love. Lily Moayeri, SPIN, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for inflammatory 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inflammatory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of inflammatory was circa 1711

Dictionary Entries Near inflammatory

Cite this Entry

“Inflammatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​flam·​ma·​to·​ry in-ˈflam-ə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce inflammatory (audio)
: stirring up anger, disorder, or rebellion
inflammatory speeches
: causing or accompanied by inflammation
inflammatory diseases

Medical Definition


in·​flam·​ma·​to·​ry in-ˈflam-ə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr- How to pronounce inflammatory (audio)
: accompanied by or tending to cause inflammation
inflammatory diseases

Legal Definition


: tending to cause anger, animosity, or indignation
the use of an alias by a defendant is…almost always inflammatoryF. D. Doucette

Note: Evidence, and especially photographic evidence, may be deemed inadmissible if its inflammatory nature seriously outweighs its probative value or relevance. The mere fact that evidence is graphic or gruesome, however, is not enough to render it inadmissible.

More from Merriam-Webster on inflammatory

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