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[in-sahyt] /ɪnˈsaɪt/
verb (used with object), incited, inciting.
to stir, encourage, or urge on; stimulate or prompt to action:
to incite a crowd to riot.
Origin of incite
1475-85; < Latin incitāre, equivalent to in- in-2 + citāre to start up, excite; see cite1
Related forms
incitable, adjective
incitant, adjective, noun
[in-sahy-tey-shuh n, -si-] /ˌɪn saɪˈteɪ ʃən, -sɪ-/ (Show IPA),
inciter, noun
incitingly, adverb
reincite, verb (used with object), reincited, reinciting.
unincited, adjective
Can be confused
incite, insight.
instigate, provoke, goad, spur, arouse, exhort; fire; induce.
Synonym Study
Incite, rouse, provoke, inflame are verbs meaning to goad or inspire an individual or a group to take some action or to express some feeling. Incite and rouse are similar in that, although they can imply in some contexts abrasive or inflammatory arousal of violent or uncontrolled behavior, neither necessarily does so. Incite means simply to induce activity, of whatever kind: incited to greater effort by encouragement; incited to riot. Rouse has an underlying sense of awakening: to rouse the apathetic soldiers to a determination to win; to rouse the inattentive public to an awareness of the danger. Provoke implies a sense of challenge or irritation along with arousal and often suggests a resultant anger or violence: provoked by scathing references to his accomplishments; to provoke a wave of resentment. Inflame, with its root sense to set afire, implies a resultant intensity and passion: to inflame a mob by fiery speeches; He was inflamed to rage by constant frustration. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inciter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One can pray again and again and still remain an inciter of war.

  • "Let us say, rather, inciter of public interest," explained Hummer.

    A Star for a Night Elsie Janis
  • The question is, whether she was the instigator and inciter in this affair, or the servants?

    Resurrection Leo Tolstoy
  • She has forced this quarrel upon France, and yet nine-tenths of Europe look upon France as the inciter of the war.

  • It should be, in fact, not only the inciter of public spirit, but the director of public effort.

  • He has already been seized as an inciter to insurrection, because he bade his disciples to sell their garments and buy a sword.

    Historical Miniatures August Strindberg
  • But perhaps she may have rested quietly in her room; she may have been only the inciter or the accomplice of the deed.

    The Lamp That Went Out Augusta Groner
  • Is it not evident that the previous speaker would, under their rgime, set self-interest upon the throne as the inciter to work?

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • In the South they regarded him as an inciter to violence, and barred his writings from the mails.

    Introduction to Non-Violence Theodore Paullin
British Dictionary definitions for inciter


(transitive) to stir up or provoke to action
Derived Forms
incitation, noun
incitement, noun
inciter, noun
incitingly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin incitāre, from in-² + citāre to excite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inciter



mid-15c., from Middle French enciter (14c.), from Latin incitare "to put into rapid motion," figuratively "rouse, urge, encourage, stimulate," from in- "into, in, on, upon" (see in- (2)) + citare "move, excite" (see cite). Related: Incited; inciting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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