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

Definition of combust

: burn

Synonyms for combust


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of combust in a Sentence

anthracite, which is naturally hard, combusts more cleanly than bituminous coal
Recent Examples on the Web The company identified the issue as the presence of dual defects that led battery materials to make contact with one another and the components to spontaneously combust. Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2021 And if the Longhorns can’t handle a get-right game against Kansas (1-8, 0-6) Saturday at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Davis might actually spontaneously combust. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 12 Nov. 2021 This equation gives that under the right conditions, a mixture of fuel and oxygen will combust into carbon dioxide and water, releasing a large amount of energy. Vikram Mittal, Forbes, 6 Nov. 2021 As the match went on, there were early hints that Thiem would come alive and Zverev would combust. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, 12 Aug. 2021 But the intensity of the Castle fire caused some of the trees’ crowns to combust on a scale researchers had never seen before. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021 In a calmer spring—when facts weren't so slippery, social media so noxious, the country so ready to combust—what happened in Forks, Washington, on June 3 might have been a perfect plot for a farce. Lauren Smiley, Wired, 8 Oct. 2020 Fire experts say to avoid plants with gummy sap, and high resin and oil levels that can easily combust. oregonlive, 28 June 2021 There is more honor, or necessity, in fights that combust from the heat of the game than from those planned or predicted, the thinking goes. New York Times, 7 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'combust.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of combust

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for combust

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

Learn More About combust

Time Traveler for combust

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near combust




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for combust

Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Combust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!