com·bust | \kəm-ˈbəst \
combusted; combusting; combusts

Definition of combust 

: burn

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Synonyms for combust


blaze, burn, flame, glow

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Examples of combust in a Sentence

anthracite, which is naturally hard, combusts more cleanly than bituminous coal

Recent Examples on the Web

The leak took months to seal, becoming the second largest methane leak in US history but likely the most environmentally damaging methane leak in US history due to the fact that none of the methane combusted before being released to the atmosphere. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "In California, natural gas availability still an issue 3 years after major leak," 10 June 2018 San Francisco and Oakland, California, sued Chevron Corp., BP PLC, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, arguing the companies make and sell products that, when combusted, create a public nuisance. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: Chocolate money, the rise of multicellularity, and pet rabbit brains," 29 June 2018 Then the top jets (13) inject oxygen that is combusted with the gaseous fuel, producing a clean, smokeless fire. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Things Come Apart: The Biolite Campstove," 15 Mar. 2017 Linseed oil, also called flaxseed oil, can spontaneously combust and start incredibly dangerous fires. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "This Common Household Product Can Spontaneously Combust," 25 July 2016 The sensual realm has combusted before his eyes, in demon twists of chemical vapor. James Parker, The Atlantic, "The Wisdom of Russell Brand," 10 June 2018 Modern buildings are specifically designed not to spontaneously combust but to contain fire, room by room, floor by floor. William Booth And Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Britain’s Grenfell Tower inquiry looks at how a high-rise became ‘a highly combustible death trap’," 9 June 2018 While Anderson and other law-enforcement types wrack their brains to figure out how one person could be in two places at the same time, everybody’s lives get wrecked in this town that combusts at just the wrong time. Jocelyn Mcclurg, USA TODAY, "Weekend picks for book lovers, including Stephen King's 'The Outsider'," 26 May 2018 The plane glides with less friction, saving fuel, while the engines still have enough oxygen to combust the fuel. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Chasing the sun from New York to Alaska on a plane," 19 May 2018

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.

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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

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for combust

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

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Comments on combust

What made you want to look up combust? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

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