in·​flam·​ma·​to·​ry | \ in-ˈfla-mə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce inflammatory (audio) \

Definition of inflammatory

1 : tending to excite anger, disorder, or tumult : seditious
2 : tending to inflame or excite the senses
3 : accompanied by or tending to cause inflammation

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Other Words from inflammatory

inflammatorily \ in-​ˌfla-​mə-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce inflammatorily (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for inflammatory


incendiary, seditious

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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

And with rosacea, the condition’s characteristic inflammatory response can cause (or worsen) irritation, leading to swollen red bumps. A.a. Newton, SELF, "How to Tell if Your 'Acne' Might Actually Be Rosacea," 9 Apr. 2019 When a switch flips, the bacterial cyborg would then secrete antioxidants and molecules that dial down the immune system’s inflammatory response. Eric Smalley, Discover Magazine, "Cellular Cyborgs: How Programmable DNA Strands Might Control Healing," 25 Sep. 2018 The infected monk seal’s inflammatory response is quickly overpowered by these invaders, leading to cell death, organ death, and, finally, mortality of the host itself. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, "How the Tiniest of Parasites is Taking Down the Mightiest of Monk Seals," 9 July 2018 Histamine is a chemical the body uses to fight infections through the inflammatory response. Maureen Langley, Post-Tribune, "Experts: Indiana's allergy season worse than usual this year," 3 July 2018 If you get injured or sick, your immune system launches an inflammatory response for protection. Maria Conley, Detroit Free Press, "Inflammation and your diet: What’s the connection?," 4 June 2018 In general, topical prescription medications are anti-inflammatory and will help to speed up the healing of eczema patches, Hu says. Talia Abbas, SELF, "11 Tips for How to Treat Eczema During the Winter," 7 Jan. 2019 Seriously, don't underestimate how much cold temperatures will mitigate the inflammatory response. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "9 Best Cystic Acne Treatments Real People Swear By," 4 Oct. 2018 What that means: an oil filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory properties will dissolve the occasionally pore-clogging oil produced by your face. Janell M. Hickman, Seventeen, "5 Life-Changing Skincare Tricks Women of Color Need To Know," 4 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inflammatory.' 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 inflammatory

circa 1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for inflammatory

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for inflammatory

The first known use of inflammatory was circa 1711

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More Definitions for inflammatory



English Language Learners Definition of inflammatory

medical : causing or having inflammation
: causing anger


in·​flam·​ma·​to·​ry | \ in-ˈfla-mə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce inflammatory (audio) \

Kids Definition of inflammatory

1 : tending to excite anger or disorder an inflammatory speech
2 : causing or having inflammation an inflammatory disease


in·​flam·​ma·​to·​ry | \ in-ˈflam-ə-ˌtōr-ē, -ˌtȯr- How to pronounce inflammatory (audio) \

Medical Definition of inflammatory

: accompanied by or tending to cause inflammation inflammatory diseases

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in·​flam·​ma·​to·​ry | \ in-ˈfla-mə-ˌtōr-ē\

Legal Definition of inflammatory

: tending to cause anger, animosity, or indignation the use of an alias by a defendant is…almost always inflammatory— F. 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.

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Comments on inflammatory

What made you want to look up inflammatory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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