Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To cause to burn.
  • intransitive verb To set fire to.
  • intransitive verb To arouse the passions of; excite.
  • intransitive verb To bring about or provoke suddenly; stir up.
  • intransitive verb To begin to burn.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To kindle or set on fire; cause to burn: as, to ignite a match.
  • To make incandescent; cause to glow or scintillate with heat: as, to ignite iron; in chem., to heat intensely; roast.
  • To take fire; begin to burn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To kindle or set on fire.
  • transitive verb (Chem.) To subject to the action of intense heat; to heat strongly; -- often said of incombustible or infusible substances.
  • intransitive verb To take fire; to begin to burn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive to set fire to (something), to light (something)
  • verb transitive to spark off (something), to enthuse
  • verb intransitive to commence burning.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb start to burn or burst into flames
  • verb arouse or excite feelings and passions
  • verb cause to start burning; subject to fire or great heat

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin ignīre, ignīt-, from Latin ignis, fire.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin ignitus, past participle of igniō, ignire ("to set on fire, ignite"). Derived from Latin ignis ("fire"), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ngʷni- and, thus, related to Sanskrit अग्नि (agní), Lithuanian ugnis and Russian огонь (ogonʹ).

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