com·bus·ti·ble | \ kəm-ˈbə-stə-bəl \

Definition of combustible 

1 : capable of combustion combustible materials, such as paper, leaves, and sawdust combustible gases

2 : easily excited a combustible temper The coach had to keep the combustible players under control.

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Other words from combustible

combustibility \kəm-ˌbə-stə-ˈbi-lə-tē \ noun
combustible noun
combustibly \kəm-ˈbə-stə-blē \ adverb

Examples of combustible in a Sentence

The fuel is highly combustible. don't store oily rags and other combustible materials in a hot attic

Recent Examples on the Web

That makes political tribalism even less resolvable and even more combustible. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Kanye West and the Question of Freedom," 11 May 2018 Central to the issue is a combustible mix of generations of anger over perceived Chinese bullying, and a lack of faith in Vietnam's ruling communist party to do anything about it. Martin Petty, The Christian Science Monitor, "China's reach fuels illegal protests in Vietnam," 19 June 2018 And global warming is likely to stoke even more fire in coming years, by making wildlands more combustible. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Scientists race to reveal how surging wildfire smoke is affecting climate and health," 31 May 2018 Opera purists may squawk, but for me every voice does justice not only to Bizet’s melodic richness but also to the inescapable fatalism of the story, as the music tugs everyone into combustible convergence. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Bad Girl Makes Good in a Glorious ‘Carmen Jones’," 27 June 2018 Investigators determined a firework ricocheted off of the second floor porch, igniting combustible materials and starting the fire, which spread to the second and third floors, the Department of Fire Servicessaid in a statement. Emily Sweeney,, "Fireworks started 3-alarm house fire in Lynn," 26 June 2018 Fire prevention Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service are planning to do more tree-thinning and prescribed burning to reduce the buildup of combustible vegetation., "Wine Country fires: What has changed to reduce risk," 17 June 2018 One of the nation's most combustible issues, race is a third rail for major corporations, which must appeal to a diverse array of customers. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "ABC's move to ax 'Roseanne' reflects businesses are often at front lines of culture wars," 30 May 2018 Drawn to big moments and bigger headlines, Trump has viewed the North Korea summit as a legacy-maker for him, believing that the combustible combination of his bombast and charm already had led to warmer relations between North and South. Catherine Lucey And Zeke Miller, The Christian Science Monitor, "Trump cancels summit with North Korea over perceived threats," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'combustible.' 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 combustible

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for combustible

borrowed from Medieval Latin combustibilis, from Latin combustus (past participle of combūrere "to destroy with fire, combust") + -ibilis -ible

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Statistics for combustible

Last Updated

27 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for combustible

The first known use of combustible was in 1529

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More Definitions for combustible



English Language Learners Definition of combustible

: able to be burned easily


com·bus·ti·ble | \ kəm-ˈbə-stə-bəl \

Kids Definition of combustible

: catching fire or burning easily


com·bus·ti·ble | \ kəm-ˈbəs-tə-bəl \

Medical Definition of combustible 

: capable of combustion combustible anesthetics

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