Glutamate toxicity involves increases in intracellular calcium levels and enhanced formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) causing neuronal dysfunction and death in acute and chronic neurodegenerative disorders. The molecular mechanisms mediating glutamate-induced ROS formation are, however, still poorly defined. Using a model system that lacks glutamate-operated calcium channels, we demonstrate that glutamate-induced acceleration of ROS levels occurs in two steps and is initiated by lipoxygenases (LOXs) and then significantly accelerated through Bid-dependent mitochondrial damage. The Bid-mediated secondary boost of ROS formation downstream of LOX activity further involves mitochondrial fragmentation and release of mitochondrial apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) to the nucleus. These data imply that the activation of Bid is an essential step in amplifying glutamate-induced formation of lipid peroxides to irreversible mitochondrial damage associated with further enhanced free radical formation and AIF-dependent execution of cell death.