- to stir, encourage, or urge on; stimulate or prompt to action: to incite a crowd to riot.
Origin of incite
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
instigate, provoke, goad, spur, arouse, exhort; fire; induce.
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for inciting
They were found guilty of practicing habitual debauchery and inciting others to sexual deviance because of the footage.Sisi Is Persecuting, Prosecuting, and Publicly Shaming Egypt’s Gays
December 30, 2014
On top of inciting violence that led to the death of a 16-year-old boy, it was confusing to residents.Meet the Liberian Girls Beating Ebola
October 29, 2014
By inciting individual sympathizers to carry out attacks in Western countries, ISIS believes it can advance its cause at no cost.Lone Wolves, Terrorist Runts, and the Stray Dogs of ISIS
October 24, 2014
Isaacs says that the epidemic is inciting panic worldwide that, in his opinion, may soon be warranted.Ebola Experts Warn of an African ‘Apocalypse’
August 7, 2014
Dobkin, was arrested Monday on charges of ‘inciting separatism’ in a dramatic move that has sent shock waves through the region.Is Kharkiv Ukraine’s Next Tipping Point?
March 13, 2014
Lady Flo: Only that your husband is inciting mine to be abusive.
Leave not then to me the business of inciting and animating you.Imogen
But I had the greatest difficulty yet in inciting him to give it to the King.The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete
Duc de Saint-Simon
The police contended that they were inciting riot in the city and over Georgia.Negro Migration during the War
Emmett J. Scott
Do ye not hear Hector, who now rages to fire the ships, inciting all his people?
- (tr) to stir up or provoke to action
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
Word Origin and History for inciting
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper