Advertisement

incendiary (n.)

c. 1400, "person who sets malicious fires," from Latin incendiarius "an incendiary," literally "causing a fire" (see incendiary (adj.)). Meaning "person who enflames political passions" is from 1630s.

incendiary (adj.)

mid-15c., "capable of being used to set fires," from Latin incendiarius "causing a fire," from incendium "a burning, a fire, conflagration," from incendere "set on fire, light up with fire, brighten," figuratively, "incite, rouse, excite, enrage," from in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + candere "to shine, glow, be on fire" (from PIE root *kand- "to shine").

Figurative sense of "enflaming passions" is from 1610s in English. Meaning "relating to criminal burning" is from 1610s. Military use, of bombs, shells, etc., attested from 1871. The obsolete poetic verb incend is attested from c. 1500.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of incendiary from WordNet
1
incendiary (adj.)
involving deliberate burning of property;
an incendiary fire
incendiary (adj.)
arousing to action or rebellion;
Synonyms: incitive / inflammatory / instigative / rabble-rousing / seditious
incendiary (adj.)
capable of catching fire spontaneously or causing fires or burning readily;
an incendiary agent
incendiary bombs
2
incendiary (n.)
a criminal who illegally sets fire to property;
Synonyms: arsonist / firebug
incendiary (n.)
a bomb that is designed to start fires; is most effective against flammable targets (such as fuel);
Synonyms: incendiary bomb / firebomb
From wordnet.princeton.edu