in·​flame | \ in-ˈflām How to pronounce inflame (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web DeGuerin accused prosecutors of trying to inflame the jury by dredging up the Texas case, particularly displaying gruesome images of body parts that washed ashore. Fox News, 10 Sep. 2021 But far from cementing the Taliban’s grip over the country, its assault appeared to inflame those who believe the group has no intention of changing its militant tactics and its oppression of women. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2021 But any White House move to deny the congressional request for records on Trump’s activities could inflame Democratic legislators just when Biden needs their support to advance his agenda. Colleen Long And Zeke Miller,, 23 Sep. 2021 The immediate impact of the deal’s announcement was to inflame France, which had a $66 billion deal with Australia to build new diesel-electric submarines. Stephen Singer,, 20 Sep. 2021 Ozone, commonly known as smog, can inflame the lining of people’s lungs and trigger asthma attacks, while exacerbating other ailments such as bronchitis and emphysema. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Sep. 2021 Others believe there could be legitimate cause for concern that copycat attacks could inflame tensions that spiral into a larger threat. CNN, 9 July 2021 Lawmakers have credited the Capitol Police officer who shot Ms. Babbitt with saving their lives, but increasingly some on the far right have sought to inflame their base over the shooting. New York Times, 23 Aug. 2021 She will be used to further inflame a debate about race that has been distorted and exaggerated by extremists on both sides. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021

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.

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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

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inflame.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for inflame



English Language Learners Definition of inflame

: to cause (a person or group) to become angry or violent
: to make (something) more active, angry, or violent
: to cause (a part of your body) to grow sore, red, and swollen


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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