Part of speech:
"Ignite" can be both transitive (as in "He ignited their curiosity.")
or intransitive (as in "Their curiosity ignited.")
Meaning: To ignite something is to set it on fire, and when something ignites, it starts to burn in flames.
The usage we're interested in is abstract: to ignite something is to get it going--bring it into brilliant, passionate existence.
Much like yesterday's word, "hailstorm," "ignite" is very easy to understand.
I include it in Make Your Point because it's a word that often goes underutilized.
ignited, igniting, ignition
How to use it:
Talk about igniting any fiery, intense feeling or reaction: igniting curiosity, igniting ambition, igniting interest or a desire, igniting fury, igniting romance, igniting a debate or discussion, igniting a conflict/dispute/battle/war, igniting a revolution, and so on.
When I was young, my interest in space and astronauts was ignited by Sally Ride's book To Space and Back.
While we're talking about books, if you love a smarty-pants narrator who's constantly igniting chaos, read The Defense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "ignite” means when you can explain it without saying “set aflame” or “spark."
Think of the last time your heart leaped, and fill in the blanks: "I (saw/heard/read/felt/smelled/tasted) _____, which instantly ignited my (excitement/fury/desire, etc.)."
Example: "I heard the sonogram technician say, 'It's a girl,' which instantly ignited my glee."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Messages that go through an automated translator into several languages and back into English again often end up sounding funny and garbled-- but still somehow meaningful. We’re having fun with that phenomenon this month as we play our game: Guess the moral from Aesop’s Fables after it has been translated into a few foreign languages and back again by a computer program. Some of the morals may be very familiar to you, others not so much. You don’t need to quote Aesop verbatim but rather just understand the message being conveyed. Try it out each day and see the right answer the following day.
Yesterday’s answer: The translation-babble said, “Concern is deeds not with words.” Aesop said, “Pay attention to deeds, not words.”
Try this one today: “People who many words someone in time of crisis talks is inadequate misplaced.”
A Point Well Made:
Lily Yeh: “In art there is no failure if we are sincere in our intention.”
1. The opposite of IGNITE is
2. These comments are sure to ignite _____
A. measured appreciation.
B. mild confusion.
C. uninhibited rage.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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