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

  • transitive v. To cause to burn.
  • transitive v. To set fire to.
  • transitive v. To subject to great heat, especially to make luminous by heat.
  • transitive v. To arouse the passions of; excite: The insults ignited my anger.
  • intransitive v. To begin to burn.
  • intransitive v. To begin to glow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to set fire to (something), to light (something)
  • v. to spark off (something), to enthuse
  • v. to commence burning.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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


Late Latin ignīre, ignīt-, from Latin ignis, fire.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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). (Wiktionary)



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