Synonyms & Antonyms of incite

1 to bring (something volatile or intense) into being
  • the rock band's failure to show up incited a riot, as the crowd had waited for hours

Synonyms for incite

Words Related to incite

Phrases Synonymous with incite

Near Antonyms for incite

2 to rouse to strong feeling or action
  • the demagogue's fiery rant incited the crowd to riot

Synonyms for incite

Words Related to incite

Phrases Synonymous with incite

Near Antonyms for incite

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About incite

How does the verb incite contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of incite are abet, foment, and instigate. While all these words mean "to spur to action," incite stresses a stirring up and urging on, and may or may not imply initiating.

inciting a riot

When could abet be used to replace incite?

In some situations, the words abet and incite are roughly equivalent. However, abet implies both assisting and encouraging.

aiding and abetting the enemy

When would foment be a good substitute for incite?

The meanings of foment and incite largely overlap; however, foment implies persistence in goading.

fomenting rebellion

Where would instigate be a reasonable alternative to incite?

While in some cases nearly identical to incite, instigate definitely implies responsibility for initiating another's action and often connotes underhandedness or evil intention.

instigated a conspiracy

Learn More About incite

Time Traveler for incite

Time Traveler

The first known use of incite was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Incite.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on incite

Nglish: Translation of incite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of incite for Arabic Speakers


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