v. ig·nit·ed, ig·nit·ing, ig·nites
a. To cause to burn: The spark plug ignites the fuel.
b. To set fire to: faulty wiring ignited the attic.
a. To arouse the passions of; excite: The insults ignited my anger.
b. To bring about or provoke suddenly; stir up: The news report ignited a controversy.
To begin to burn: had trouble getting the wet tinder to ignite.
[Late Latin ignīre, ignīt-, from Latin ignis, fire.]
ig·nita·ble, ig·niti·ble adj.
ig·niter, ig·nitor n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.