a. Causing or designed to cause fires: an incendiary device.
b. Of or containing chemicals that produce intensely hot fire when exploded: an incendiary bomb.
c. Intentionally started or set: an incendiary fire.
2. Tending to arouse strong emotion or conflict; inflammatory: an incendiary speech.
3. Causing a strong burning sensation in the mouth; very hot: incendiary wasabi.
n. pl. in·cen·di·ar·ies
1. An incendiary bomb, bullet, or device.
2. A person who intentionally starts a fire with the purpose of causing damage or injury.
3. One who creates or stirs up conflict; an agitator.
[Middle English, from Latin incendiārius, from incendium, fire, from incendere, to set on fire; see INCENSE1.]
in·cendi·a·rism (-ə-rĭz′əm) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus