incendiary

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Old French incendiaire, from Latin incendiārius (setting alight), from incendium (destructive fire), from incendō (I set on fire, kindle), from in- (into, in, on, upon) + candeō (I am hot).

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) enPR: ĭnsĕn'dĭərē, IPA(key): /ɪnˈsɛn.dɪ.əɹ.i/, /ɪnˈsɛn.djəɹ.i/
  • (US) enPR: ĭnsĕn´dĭĕ'rē, IPA(key): /ɪnˈsɛn.di.ɛɹ.i/, /ɪnˈsɛn.di.əɹ.i/
  • (file)
    ,
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AdjectiveEdit

incendiary (comparative more incendiary, superlative most incendiary)

  1. Capable of, or used for, or actually causing fire.
    • 1969, Susan Sontag, “Trip to Hanoi”, in Styles of Radical Will, Kindle edition, Penguin Modern Classics, published 2009, →ISBN, page 246:
      We saw photographs of bodies riddled with pellets from fragmentation bombs or charred by incendiary weapons (besides napalm, the Americans also drop white phosphorus, Thermit, and magnesium on the Vietnamese).
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 1, in Internal Combustion[1]:
      Blast after blast, fiery outbreak after fiery outbreak, like a flaming barrage from within, [] most of Edison's grounds soon became an inferno. As though on an incendiary rampage, the fires systematically devoured the contents of Edison's headquarters and facilities.
  2. (figuratively) Intentionally stirring up strife, riot, rebellion.
    • 2014, Ian Thomson, Primo Levi: A Life, Metropolitan Books (→ISBN), page 123:
      Earlier that year Italian Jews had come under serious attack when an incendiary publication, Gli ebrei in Italia (The Jews in Italy), had flooded the bookshops. The author, Paolo Orano, was a Fascist publicist whose book helped to harden Italian public sensibility against the Jews and pave the way for their eventual persecution.
  3. (figuratively) Inflammatory, emotionally charged.
    Politics is an incendiary topic; it tends to cause fights to break out.

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

incendiary (plural incendiaries)

  1. Something capable of causing fire, particularly a weapon.
    The military used incendiaries to destroy the building. Fortunately, the fire didn't spread.
  2. One who maliciously sets fires.
    Synonym: arsonist
  3. (figuratively) One who excites or inflames factions into quarrels.
    Synonym: agitator
    • (Can we date this quote by Bentley and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Several cities [] drove them out as incendiaries.

TranslationsEdit