foment

[ foh-ment ]
/ foʊˈmɛnt /

verb (used with object)

to instigate or foster (discord, rebellion, etc.); promote the growth or development of: to foment trouble; to foment discontent.
to apply warm water or medicated liquid, ointments, etc., to (the surface of the body).

Origin of foment

1350–1400; Middle English fomenten < Late Latin fōmentāre, verbal derivative of Latin fōmentum soothing application, poultice, contraction of *fōvimentum, equivalent to fōv(ēre) to keep warm + -i- -i- + -mentum -ment

Related forms

fo·ment·er, nounun·fo·ment·ed, adjective

Can be confused

ferment foment
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foment

British Dictionary definitions for foment

foment

/ (fəˈmɛnt) /

verb (tr)

to encourage or instigate (trouble, discord, etc); stir up
med to apply heat and moisture to (a part of the body) to relieve pain and inflammation

Derived Forms

fomentation (ˌfəʊmɛnˈteɪʃən), nounfomenter, noun

Word Origin for foment

C15: from Late Latin fōmentāre, from Latin fōmentum a poultice, ultimately from fovēre to foster

usage

Both foment and ferment can be used to talk about stirring up trouble: he was accused of fomenting/fermenting unrest . Only ferment can be used intransitively or as a noun: his anger continued to ferment (not foment); rural areas were unaffected by the ferment in the cities
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