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

The price of Mallinckrodt's anti-inflammatory drug Acthar -- best known for treating babies with a debilitating seizure disorder -- has gone from $40 a vial in 2000 to nearly $39,000 today. Wayne Drash, CNN, "Mallinckrodt paid 'kickbacks' to keep drug price high, and stuck taxpayers with bill, DOJ lawsuit says," 5 June 2019 For pain management, Purtill said weight loss can be paired with injections, physical therapy, and pain medications such as Tylenol or other anti-inflammatory drugs. Mari A. Schaefer,, "Got knee pain? Researchers pinpoint percentage of weight loss needed to reduce discomfort," 18 June 2018 Those include aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, which could increase risk of bleeding. Larry Barszewski,, "Mosquitoes that carry Zika could bring deadlier yellow fever this year," 5 May 2018 Non-surgical treatment options for tendon and ligament injuries typically may involve the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid medication or injections., "Optimum Performance: PRP - A non-surgical option for mild joint trauma," 4 May 2018 The good news is that the same study suggests there may be a simple solution: taking an anti-inflammatory drug. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "Healing process after breast cancer surgery may trigger cancer spread, study says," 11 Apr. 2018 Ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease that can prompt some of the interlocking bones in the spine to fuse, can force a person to hunch over, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s How to Actually Have Good Posture (and Why You Should Care)," 11 Oct. 2018 Research has found that eating Bing cherries may reduce the prevalence of inflammatory diseases, like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. NBC News, "8 summer superfoods to eat after a tough workout," 11 July 2018 Lyme disease had exacerbated my existing case of myalgic encephalomyelitis, an inflammatory multisystem disease that can leave patients unable to speak or eat for years at a time. New York Times, "Love Means Never Having to Say … Anything," 25 May 2018

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

18 Jun 2019

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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).


behavior toward others

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