English Dictionary

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foment (fəˈmɛnt Pronunciation for foment

Definitions

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 Pronunciation for fomentation  noun
foˈmenter noun

Word Origin

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

Synonyms

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

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