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See more synonyms for incite on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), in·cit·ed, in·cit·ing.
  1. to stir, encourage, or urge on; stimulate or prompt to action: to incite a crowd to riot.
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Origin of incite

1475–85; < Latin incitāre, equivalent to in- in-2 + citāre to start up, excite; see cite1
Related formsin·cit·a·ble, adjectivein·cit·ant, adjective, nounin·ci·ta·tion [in-sahy-tey-shuhn, -si-] /ˌɪn saɪˈteɪ ʃən, -sɪ-/, nounin·cit·er, nounin·cit·ing·ly, adverbre·in·cite, verb (used with object), re·in·cit·ed, re·in·cit·ing.un·in·cit·ed, adjective
Can be confusedincite insight


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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.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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.

  • The question is, whether she was the instigator and inciter in this affair, or the servants?


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for inciter


  1. (tr) to stir up or provoke to action
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Derived Formsincitation, nounincitement, nouninciter, nounincitingly, 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper