Definition of incite in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /inˈsīt/


[with object]
1Encourage or stir up (violent or unlawful behavior): the offense of inciting racial hatred
More example sentences
  • The Public Order Act of 1986 made it a criminal offence to incite racial hatred - but its provisions do not extend to sexual orientation.
  • I am aware that Britain has legislation which makes it a criminal offence to incite racial hatred.
  • Britain must be free to act against extremists who stir up hatred and incite terrorism.
stir up, whip up, encourage, fan the flames of, stoke up, fuel, kindle, ignite, inflame, stimulate, instigate, provoke, excite, arouse, awaken, inspire, engender, trigger, spark off, ferment, foment
literary enkindle
egg on, encourage, urge, goad, provoke, spur on, drive, stimulate, push, prod, prompt, induce, impel;
arouse, rouse, excite, inflame, sting, prick
informal put up to
1.1Urge or persuade (someone) to act in a violent or unlawful way: he incited loyal subjects to rebellion
More example sentences
  • Thus pre-vindicated, any troublemaker can now articulate his freedom of umbrage, on the grounds that he was incited to violence by a poem, novel, painting, play, or critique.
  • And it did not incite me to physical violence, but it changed me, materially, and my world.
  • Students in the band said they're just singing the lyrics and not inciting anyone to do anything.



Pronunciation: /inˌsīˈtāSH(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /ˌinsəˈtāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • She was dealt felony charges for incitation to riot and setting a puppet on fire (charges of which she claimed to be innocent) and saddled with a four-hundred-thousand dollar bail.
  • ‘Israel welcomes the efforts of the US to include in the Security Council resolution a section calling for the immediate end to terrorism and to incitations to violence,’ he said.
  • The American attorney who was the target of the threats, stated today, ‘I very much appreciate that the French justice system had the courage to convict him for his incitations to murder and his insults.’


Pronunciation: /inˈsīdər/
Example sentences
  • All populist right-wing movements, inciters to violence and hatred, are adept in the language of Grievance.
  • But the possibility that apathy may subvert anarchy does not absolve its inciters from responsibility.
  • All along we've thought that something subversive was in our midst, perhaps a maker of effigies, or an inciter of revolutions.


Late 15th century (earlier (late Middle English) as incitation): from French inciter, from Latin incitare, from in- 'toward' + citare 'rouse'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·cite

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.