Stand outside the school cafeteria passing out flyers with nutritional details on school food, and you may foment a revolution — foment means stirring up something undesirable, such as trouble.

You would never say, "Hooray, we fomented a revolution." Instead you'd say, "Those good for nothing scalawags fomented the rebellion." Don't confuse foment and ferment. Ferment can mean "to stir up" in a good way — a football game can ferment excitement in a town, or foment trouble through traffic tie-ups and litter.

Definitions of foment
  1. verb
    try to stir up public opinion
    synonyms: agitate, stir up
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    cause a disturbance
    type of:
    provoke, stimulate
    provide the needed stimulus for
  2. verb
    bathe with warm water or medicated lotions
    “His legs should be fomented
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    type of:
    bath, bathe
    clean one's body by immersion into water
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