foment [foh-ment] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for foment on verb (used with object)

  1. to instigate or foster (discord, rebellion, etc.); promote the growth or development of: to foment trouble; to foment discontent.
  2. to apply warm water or medicated liquid, ointments, etc., to (the surface of the body).

Origin of foment 1350–1400; Middle English fomenten Late Latin fōmentāre, verbal derivative of Latin fōmentum soothing application, poultice, contraction of *fōvimentum, equivalent to fōv(ēre) to keep warm + -i- -i- + -mentum -ment Related formsfo·ment·er, nounun·fo·ment·ed, adjectiveCan be confusedferment fomentSynonyms for foment See more synonyms for on 1. incite, provoke, arouse, inflame, excite, stir up; encourage, stimulate. Related Words for foment brew, incite, arouse, abet, set, raise, excite, goad, agitate, start, encourage, foster, nurse, nurture, promote, spur, stimulate, cultivate, quicken Examples from the Web for foment Contemporary Examples of foment

  • Given all of this, Iran is apparently disinclined to foment a political rebellion against Maliki among the Shia.

    How Iran and America Can Beat ISIS Together

    Ben Van Heuvelen

    June 21, 2014

  • They can exacerbate splits within a ruling leadership, foment popular unrest, or expedite a dwindling current account.

    Why Aren’t Sanctions Stopping Putin?

    Meghan L. O’Sullivan

    May 13, 2014

  • The Cubans claim Gross was a spy who was trying to foment revolution.

    Raul Castro Reaches Out to Obama, But Don’t Call It a Thaw

    Eli Lake, Josh Rogin

    December 11, 2013

  • We tried to foment one against Hamas after it won democratic elections among the Palestinians in 2006.

    What Obama Should Have Said

    Peter Beinart

    August 15, 2013

  • He advocates instead quiet support for Iranian opposition groups that could foment regime change.

    Israel’s Top Iran Expert: You Can’t Out-Negotiate the Mullahs

    Dan Ephron

    October 22, 2012

  • Historical Examples of foment

  • If the limbs be swelled, or joints stiff, it will be proper to foment them with warm vinegar, or bathe them in lukewarm water.

    The Cook and Housekeeper’s Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches,

    Mary Eaton

  • No, Princess; my part is to restore peace, not to foment strife.


    Maurus Jokai

  • Foment with warm water; at night apply a bread and milk poultice.

    The Ladies Book of Useful Information


  • If there is pain in the region of the liver, foment that region more strongly.

    Papers on Health

    John Kirk

  • Foment the corn every other night in warm water, after which renew the application.

    The Toilet of Flora

    Pierre-Joseph Buc’hoz

  • British Dictionary definitions for foment foment verb (tr)

    1. to encourage or instigate (trouble, discord, etc); stir up
    2. med to apply heat and moisture to (a part of the body) to relieve pain and inflammation

    Derived Formsfomentation (ˌfəʊmɛnˈteɪʃən), nounfomenter, nounWord Origin for foment C15: from Late Latin fōmentāre, from Latin fōmentum a poultice, ultimately from fovēre to fosterusage Both foment and ferment can be used to talk about stirring up trouble: he was accused of fomenting/fermenting unrest . Only ferment can be used intransitively or as a noun: his anger continued to ferment (not foment); rural areas were unaffected by the ferment in the cities Word Origin and History for foment v.

    early 15c., “apply hot liquids,” from Old French fomenter (13c.) “apply hot compress (to a wound),” from Late Latin fomentare, from Latin fomentum “warm application, poultice,” contraction of *fovimentum, from fovere “to warm; cherish, encourage” (see fever). Extended sense of “stimulate, instigate” (1620s) was in the French. Related: Fomented; fomenting.

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