Definition of inflame in US English:

inflame

verb

[with object]
  • 1Provoke or intensify (strong feelings, especially anger) in someone.

    ‘high fines further inflamed public feelings’
    • ‘The split that is inflaming the public mood is the one between insiders and outsiders.’
    • ‘He wanted to dampen down divisions rather than inflame anti-European feelings in his party.’
    • ‘On the particular issue of the islands, feelings are inflamed on both sides.’
    • ‘Deterrence and punishment are not rational options, and politicians who seek to inflame public feeling in these distressing cases are being forced to recognise this.’
    • ‘How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation?’
    • ‘The value of citizenship is eroded in the enthusiasm of these outfits to inflame communal passions to win adherents to the extremist cult.’
    • ‘The fall of New Orleans in April 1862, combined with the Federal threat against Mobile, inflamed public passions.’
    • ‘Some Japanese politicians periodically inflame Chinese anger by saying accounts of past atrocities are exaggerated.’
    • ‘No reasonable settlement is possible in the mood engendered by war because war inflames passions and makes men delirious.’
    • ‘But you have to ask which article will do more to inflame the scornful anger of the middle classes.’
    • ‘This suggestion only inflamed public resentment.’
    • ‘They have inflamed the feelings of Chinese victims by seeking to deny their responsibility for outrages such as the Rape of Nanking.’
    • ‘Its stature can be gauged by the not insignificant fact that after 33 years, it still inspires revolutionists and inflames the anger of renegades.’
    • ‘Benevolence inflames the anger of the young men of the cités as much as repression, because their rage is inseparable from their being.’
    • ‘I don't doubt that such experiences can inflame devotion, like any pious dream.’
    • ‘They have been accused - sometimes rightly - of distorting complex issues and inflaming public passions.’
    • ‘However, their every utterance is designed to inflame fears and tensions and give succour to the fascists.’
    • ‘I cannot see how it will do anything other than inflame hatred and further war and terrorism.’
    • ‘The casual way in which Monica was dropped to the ground inflamed Michael's anger once more.’
    • ‘The last thing a responsible government should do is hysterically inflame these feelings by turning people against each other through the demonisation of innocent citizens.’
    incite, arouse, rouse, provoke, animate, stir up, work up, whip up, kindle, fire, ignite, touch off, foment, actuate, inspire
    aggravate, exacerbate, intensify, worsen, make worse, compound
    enrage, incense, anger, infuriate, exasperate, madden, send into a rage, provoke, antagonize, rile, gall
    red, flushed, high-coloured, burning, flaming, florid
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Provoke (someone) to strong feelings.
      ‘her sister was inflamed with jealousy’
      • ‘It will either inform you or inflame you, and either one can be a good thing.’
      • ‘The liberties I allowed myself only inflamed me more.’
      • ‘I am rarely inflamed to such an extent as I was this morning reading this news report.’
      • ‘She smiled, but she was an Angels fan and wasn't about to start encouraging an uppity little Yankees fan's affections, which only served to inflame him further.’
      • ‘But what good is that if the struggles over parades are prefigured to continue endlessly, and to twist and inflame ordinary people endlessly.’
      • ‘As it happens, hypocrisy on matters of animals does inflame me also.’
      • ‘I don't find, as I go around Australia, that people are inflamed.’
      • ‘Their bodies were so close now that his heat inflamed her.’
      • ‘If ‘Steve’ tried and it inflamed her, imagine if one came from you.’
      • ‘And her beauty - I am easily inflamed, I admit it, and I will never see a more beautiful woman than Sonali, even as she threw plates at my head.’
      • ‘I nodded imperceptibly, anxious not to inflame him further.’
      • ‘You realized that in saying that, that would inflame some people.’
      • ‘He's inflamed her heart, but now he is rolling out of town.’
      • ‘So that just inflamed me even further because first of all Pol will never do something like that and secondly it was definitely not anybody I knew.’
      • ‘I don't know why the police had to do this but it will only inflame local people around here.’
      • ‘But he was so inflamed when he spoke of it, like he is about everything in fact.’
      • ‘She knew that she would present for him if only he asked, and the knowledge humiliated her but further inflamed her, and yet he just kept looking in her eyes.’
      • ‘Noticing her fast stride with his calm footsteps inflamed her.’
      • ‘Names and symbols inflame us, and wars have been fought over flags and soccer matches.’
      • ‘I knew not what to say fearing to inflame her more.’
    2. 1.2 Make (a situation) worse.
      • ‘They are not at all helpful and might inflame the situation.’
      • ‘To go in and make arrests would inflame the situation.’
      • ‘Usually, outside comments just serve to inflame the situation.’
      • ‘You don't want to inflame the situation while the crew is there.’
      • ‘Political leaders on all sides had inflamed the situation, creating a momentum that they could no longer control let alone quell.’
      • ‘And consistent with the policies that we have upheld in relation to hostages, we don't want to inflame the situation by needless and unnecessary comment.’
      • ‘The workers were already very angry but he's after inflaming the whole situation now.’
      • ‘Instead, the minister's comments seem to have inflamed the situation.’
      • ‘A spokesman for the society said the thread running through the guidelines was that solicitors should do ‘anything possible’ to avoid inflaming the situation.’
      • ‘Of course, it's not reporters' job to intentionally inflame bad situations.’
      • ‘I do not want to inflame the situation by making any further comments until we know exactly why this happened.’
      • ‘I think the president doesn't want to further inflame the situation.’
      • ‘The situation is inflamed by cut-price drinks offers, such as paying £5 to drink as much as you want.’
      • ‘Any retaliatory attack would only inflame the current situation,’ he warned.’
      • ‘If staff act in a trained, controlled manner they are less likely to inflame the situation.’
      • ‘Some retailers think that if they report light-fingered staff to police instead of simply firing them, they inflame the situation and increase the risk of later legal action.’
      • ‘Julia Morley said the contest had been used as a ‘political football’ and blamed a Nigerian journalist for inflaming the situation.’
      • ‘They felt that inflaming the situation with a vitriolic confrontation would make them feel more at risk.’
      • ‘Some of the men outside the mosque said that the raid would inflame the situation’.’
      • ‘Instead, Costa's histrionics merely inflamed the situation and, after an unsightly stand-off between the two sets of players, there was a hostile undercurrent to the rest of the game.’
  • 2Cause inflammation in (a part of the body)

    ‘the finger joints were inflamed with rheumatoid arthritis’
    ‘inflamed eyes and lips’
    • ‘When part of your body is inflamed, it is red, hot and sore.’
    • ‘The warnings state that Vitrase should not be used to reduce the swelling of bites, stings, and infected or inflamed areas because of the possibility of spreading a localized infection.’
    • ‘Just like the blood vessels around the heart can become clogged with cholesterol plaques and inflamed tissue, the blood vessels in the legs and the neck can become partially or totally blocked.’
    • ‘During pregnancy, your gums are more likely to become inflamed or infected.’
    • ‘The surrounding gum may also be inflamed, tender and swollen.’
    • ‘The doctor diagnosed my knee as having minor cartilage damage, yet the arthroscopic surgery only inflamed the joint.’
    • ‘Her uvula was almost atrophic but was slightly inflamed on its tip - certainly not consistent with the symptoms she described.’
    • ‘Cutaneous infections irritate and inflame the skin, further reducing its efficiency as a barrier.’
    • ‘Advise her to rest affected joints when they are inflamed.’
    • ‘This is caused by infected and inflamed diverticula perforating or rupturing.’
    • ‘It can be made into a salve or the tincture can be painted on boils, felons, carbuncles, abscesses, inflamed acne, cellulitis and other local inflammations.’
    • ‘This infection inflames the meninges, and it is called meningitis.’
    • ‘Biopsy of the wall of the mucocoele taken at the time of surgery showed chronically inflamed respiratory mucosa.’
    • ‘Rubbing against the joint sometimes causes this sac to become inflamed, swollen and sore.’
    • ‘Some children also inhale these contents into the lungs, where they can make inflamed airways even more swollen.’
    • ‘It is possible that when BAL is performed in an infected or inflamed area in infants, more pyrogenic cytokines are released.’
    • ‘If you have arthritis, inflamed joints can turn these minor inconveniences into painful struggles.’
    • ‘Arthritis can cause your joints to become inflamed and painful.’
    • ‘You should take plenty of rest periods when your joints are inflamed and you are in pain.’
    • ‘If many of your joints are inflamed, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone.’
    swollen, puffed up
    View synonyms
  • 3literary Light up with or as if with flames.

    ‘the torches inflame the night to the eastward’
    • ‘Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!’
    • ‘At the courthouse, endless speeches inflamed the night air.’
    • ‘Open your eyes, still heavy and inflamed by late night television and tears’
    • ‘The shadow engulfed figure's face illuminated as he inflamed a lighter.’
    • ‘After the last two weeks he may be less enthusiastic about all those flashes inflaming the night.’

Origin

Middle English enflaume, inflaume, from Old French enflammer, from Latin inflammare, from in- ‘into’ + flamma ‘flame’.

Pronunciation

inflame

/inˈflām//ɪnˈfleɪm/