Etymology
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foment (v.)

early 15c., "apply hot liquids," from Old French fomenter "apply hot compress (to a wound)" (13c.), 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), on the notion of "encourage the growth of," as if by heat, probably was taken from French. Related: Fomented; fomenting.

updated on December 15, 2014

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Definitions of foment from WordNet

foment (v.)
try to stir up public opinion;
Synonyms: agitate / stir up
foment (v.)
bathe with warm water or medicated lotions;
His legs should be fomented
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.