verb fo·ment \ˈfō-ˌment, fō-ˈ\

: to cause or try to cause the growth or development of (something bad or harmful)

Full Definition of FOMENT

transitive verb
:  to promote the growth or development of :  rouse, incite <foment a rebellion>
fo·ment·er noun

Origin of FOMENT

Middle English, to apply a warm substance to, from Late Latin fomentare, from Latin fomentum compress, from fovēre to heat, soothe; akin to Lithuanian degti to burn, Sanskrit dahati it burns
First Known Use: circa 1613

Synonym Discussion of FOMENT

incite, instigate, abet, foment mean to spur to action. incite stresses a stirring up and urging on, and may or may not imply initiating <inciting a riot>. instigate definitely implies responsibility for initiating another's action and often connotes underhandedness or evil intention <instigated a conspiracy>. abet implies both assisting and encouraging <aiding and abetting the enemy>. foment implies persistence in goading <fomenting rebellion>.


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