incendiary (n.) "person who sets malicious fires," c.1400; (adj.) "capable of being used to set fires," mid-15c., from L. incendiarius "causing a fire," from incendium "conflagration," from incendere "set on fire," figuratively, "incite, rouse, enrage," from in- "into, in, on, upon" (see IN- (Cf. in-) (2)) + *candere "to set alight, cause to glow," related to candere "to shine" (see CANDLE (Cf. candle)). Figurative sense of "enflaming passions" (adj.) is from 1610s. Military use, of bombs, shells, etc., attested from 1871. The obsolete verb incend is attested from c.1500.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • incendiary — I adjective agitative, anarchistic, harmful, immoderate, inciting, incitive, inflammatory, instigative, intemperate, nihilistic, pernicious, poisonous, revolutionary, unbridled II index disorderly Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • incendiary — [in sen′dē er΄ē; ] also [, in sen′dē ər ē] adj. [L incendiarius, setting on fire, an incendiary < incendium, a fire < incendere: see INCENSE1] 1. having to do with the willful destruction of property by fire 2. causing or designed to cause… …   English World dictionary

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  • incendiary — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of a bomb or other device) designed to cause fires. 2) tending to stir up conflict or controversy. ► NOUN (pl. incendiaries) ▪ an incendiary device. DERIVATIVES incendiarism noun. ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

  • Incendiary — In*cen di*a*ry (?; 277), n.; pl. {Incendiaries}. [L. incendiarius: cf. F. incendiaire. See {Incense} to inflame.] [1913 Webster] 1. Any person who maliciously sets fire to a building or other valuable or other valuable property. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • incendiary — adj *combustible, inflammable, flammable, inflammatory …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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