Advanced and Proficiency Vocabulary for Exams(e.g.GRE, Banks, Civil Services, SAT / LSAT). For IELTS/TOEFL, and everyday spoken vocabulary, go to our Spoken Vocabulary Database.
To ‘foment’ means to instigate or stir something up, usually something unpleasant or undesirable. This formal word implies a persistence or dedication to developing unrest over a period of time, which is why it is most commonly used in relation to things such as revolutions or tensions between groups.
The intelligence agency spent years trying to foment revolution in that country in order to overthrow the democratically elected government.
The media have been complicit in the fomentation of racial tensions in the country with their irresponsible and often inaccurate reporting.
Peter is a fomenter. He manipulates and stirs up trouble wherever he goes in order to gain advantages for himself at the expense of others.