Word of the Day


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1. to make something start to burn
a. to start to burn
2. to start a fight or argument
3. to start a particular feeling in someone
4. to make something exciting, or to become exciting

Origin and usage

The word ignite comes from the Latin word ‘ignis’ meaning ‘fire’. It first appeared in English sometime in the 1660s.


Ignite refers to the process of starting a fire. In this sense – starting something – it can also be used to describe the process of starting an argument or inspiring a strong feeling in another person.

The word ignite suggests something that happens quickly, with an intense result. Igniting a fire, for example, happens in just a few seconds when done properly. To ignite feelings in another person also happens quickly, and those feelings are usually strong, like love or anger or fear.

The Ignite Talks have taken this idea of a quick, intense start of something and applied it to a series of international events aimed at educating, informing, inspiring and entertaining people with a variety of interesting topics.

Ignite Talks can be on any subject, but each presenter must follow a basic set of rules. Presenters get just 20 slides that advance automatically after only 15 seconds. This means each presentation lasts a total of only five minutes. The result is a fast-paced talk that keeps the audience entertained and engaged, even on complex or difficult topics.

Events are held in cities all over the world by Ignite Talks and have encouraged thousands of people to practise public speaking and share their stories.


“If in my youth I had realised that the sustaining splendour of beauty of with which I was in love would one day flood back into my heart, there to ignite a flame that would torture me without end, how gladly would I have put out the light in my eyes.”

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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