English Dictionary

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English Dictionary

foment  (fəˈmɛnt


verb (transitive)

  1. to encourage or instigate (trouble, discord, etc); stir up
  2. (medicine) to apply heat and moisture to (a part of the body) to relieve pain and inflammation
Both foment and ferment can be used to talk about stirring up trouble: he was accused of fomenting/fermenting unrest. Only ferment can be used intransitively or as a noun: his anger continued to ferment (not foment); rural areas were unaffected by the ferment in the cities

Derived Forms

fomentation  (ˌfəʊmɛnˈteɪʃən   noun
foˈmenter  noun

Word Origin

C15: from Late Latin fōmentāre, from Latin fōmentum a poultice, ultimately from fovēre to foster


View thesaurus entry
= stir up, raise, encourage, promote, excite, spur, foster, stimulate, provoke, brew, arouse, rouse, agitate, quicken, incite, instigate, whip up, goad, abet, sow the seeds of, fan the flames

Example Sentences Including 'foment'

By the time recreation was under way, the task would be to foment rumour and excitement, but still with nothing concrete being said.
Kippax, Frank The Scar
`Contrary to what those chaps believe," he said, `we are going in to prevent trouble, or contain it, not foment it.
Kippax, Frank The Scar


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