- to stir, encourage, or urge on; stimulate or prompt to action: to incite a crowd to riot.
Origin of incite
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
- (tr) to stir up or provoke to action
C15: from Latin incitāre, from in- ² + citāre to excite
Word Origin and History for incitable
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper