incendiary (n.) Look up incendiary at
c. 1400, "person who sets malicious fires," from Latin incendiarius "an incendiary," literally "causing a fire" (see incendiary (adj.)). Meaning "person who enflames political passions" is from 1630s.
incendiary (adj.) Look up incendiary at
mid-15c., "capable of being used to set fires," from Latin incendiarius "causing a fire," from incendium "a burning, a fire, conflagration," from incendere "set on fire, light up with fire, brighten," figuratively, "incite, rouse, excite, enrage," from in- "into, in, on, upon" (from PIE root *en "in") + candere "to shine, glow, be on fire" (see candle).

Figurative sense of "enflaming passions" is from 1610s in English. Meaning "relating to criminal burning" is from 1610s. Military use, of bombs, shells, etc., attested from 1871. The obsolete poetic verb incend is attested from c. 1500.