(plural: ‘incendiaries‘; pronunciation: the letter ‘i’ rhymes with the letter ‘i’ in “ink” — for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

an incendiary torching a public transport bus

a person who burns things, especially public property, down or causes trouble by violent means, usually related to burning down things, which is a punishable crime;

an arsonist;

a person who causes/stirs up trouble in a place; a factionist; an agitator (not necessarily burning down something directly, but making people get excited, usually regarding a political issue, and causing trouble),

Jeffery Scott Sill, two-time convicted incendiary (charged and convicted of having dynamites in possession)


The police have identified the incendiary that torched the heritage building and are on the look out for a young man of 25 years of age.

Wherever there is a mass protest, there are incendiaries present whose sole purpose is to burn down things irrespective of the cause of the protest, turning the protest into a riot.

Jack and Mike are incendiaries in our community; always trying to instigate the public to take up arms and rebel against anybody and for anything.

For a news article that shows us how we come across this word in this sense, please click here.

(an incendiary device)

‘Incendiary’ is more commonly used as an adjective to refer to things or people related to explosives and serious political, social or religious matters, e.g. ‘incendiary remarks’, ‘incendiary dialogue’, ‘incendiary film’, ‘incendiary person’ & ‘incendiary bomb’, ‘incendiary material’, ‘incendiary attitude’, ‘incendiary incidents’, ‘incendiary devices’, etc., and, with the plural form ‘incendiaries’, is also used for a device that is used to burn something or that gives out bright light, devices such as flares, distress signals in emergencies. For an article that shows us how this word is used as a noun, please click here.

About the Author:BC Kumar

BC Kumar, an English Language Teacher, taught in numerous countries including Ethiopia, Oman and India, shares his knowledge and passion for the English Language. Disclaimer: This is a free educational website and all content has been compiled by the author. All copyrights to images and videos belong to their respective owners.

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