verb (used with object), ig·nit·ed, ig·nit·ing.

  1. to set on fire; kindle.
  2. Chemistry. to heat intensely; roast.

verb (used without object), ig·nit·ed, ig·nit·ing.

  1. to take fire; begin to burn.


  1. to catch fire or set fire to; burn or cause to burn
  2. (tr) chem to heat strongly
  3. (tr) to stimulate or provokethe case has ignited a nationwide debate

also reignite, 1863, from re- + ignite. Related: Reignited; reigniting.


1660s, from Latin ignitus, past participle of ignire “set on fire,” from ignis “fire” (see igneous). Attested earlier as an adjective (1550s). Related: Ignited; igniting.

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