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ignite (verb) light (a fire).
When you ignite something you light it and make it start burning. When something ignites it starts burning. It is alit. When something is ignited it is lit or set afire. In automobile engines the fuel, especially petrol, diesel, or gas is ignited by an electric spark; that is, the fuel is lit by an electric spark which makes the fuel start burning.
- The lighted match thrown by a careless smoker ignited the petrol barrels nearby and the whole place was ablaze in minutes.
- The glowing cigarette stub ignited the haystack and the fire spread to the building nearby.