com·​bust kəm-ˈbəst How to pronounce combust (audio)
combusted; combusting; combusts
: burn

Examples of combust in a Sentence

anthracite, which is naturally hard, combusts more cleanly than bituminous coal
Recent Examples on the Web Flaring is the process of burning natural gas that escapes from oil and gas wells, with the intent of combusting methane to minimize emissions. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 19 Mar. 2024 These stories portray workers who are not simply anxious and exhausted but violently combusting. Beatrice Loayza, New York Times, 23 Feb. 2024 Occasionally, a propane or gas tank will slip through the metals screening process causing the tanks to combust when passing through the shredder. The Enquirer, 3 Apr. 2024 Representing writer-director Mariama Diallo's debut feature, Master is a smart, specific film set in a toxic environment that is poised to combust., 19 Dec. 2023 Then, two incidents took place this January that captured the attention of flyers everywhere and underscored the critical importance of flight attendants in aviation safety: On January 2, a Japan Airlines plane combusted into flames after colliding with a Coast Guard aircraft on the runway. Bobby Laurie, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Feb. 2024 Chicago went nuclear from the field down the stretch, causing Minnesota to combust in a 129-123 overtime loss to the Bulls. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 7 Feb. 2024 But that last bit might in fact be an advantage to this chemistry—there's no danger that an LFP pack will combust or explode in a crash, so there's much less need to surround the pack with a heavy protective shell. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 4 Jan. 2023 The moment combusted with 7:40 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Chargers trailing the Packers 16-13. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'combust.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


derivative of earlier combust, combusted "burned, consumed," going back to Middle English combust, borrowed from Latin combustus, past participle of combūrere "to destroy with fire, reduce to ashes, calcine," from com- com- + ūrere "to expose to fire, burn, scorch" (with -b- from ambūrere "to burn around, scorch," falsely parsed as am- + būrere) — more at adust

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of combust was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near combust

Cite this Entry

“Combust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


com·​bust kəm-ˈbəst How to pronounce combust (audio)
: to be or set on fire : burn
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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