To inflame is to make feelings stronger, or stir them up. Reminding your grandfather about the time his car was stolen may just inflame his anger.

Getting a parking ticket might inflame your frustration, and when a city imposes a curfew it may inflame the community's feelings of resentment. Another way to inflame is more literal: to cause a physical condition that involves swelling, pain, and redness. Scratching your poison ivy rash will only inflame it in the long run, even if it briefly brings relief. Inflame is from the Latin inflammare, "set on fire" and "excite."

Definitions of inflame

v arouse or excite feelings and passions

fire up, heat, ignite, stir up, wake
work up into agitation or excitement
Type of:
arouse, elicit, enkindle, evoke, fire, kindle, provoke, raise
call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses)

v cause inflammation in

“The repetitive motion inflamed her joint”
Type of:
aggravate, exacerbate, exasperate, worsen
make worse

v become inflamed; get sore

“His throat inflamed
Type of:
decline, worsen
grow worse

v catch fire

Type of:
flare up
ignite quickly and suddenly, especially after having died down

v cause to start burning

conflagrate, enkindle, kindle
kindle anew, as of a fire
Type of:
ignite, light
cause to start burning; subject to fire or great heat

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