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

Definition of combust

: burn

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Synonyms for combust


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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 When temperatures drop, natural gas is used both directly for furnaces and indirectly to combust and turn into electricity. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "The real story behind the Texas power outages," 18 Feb. 2021 Everything about this place, around a hundred miles from the Mexican border, feels like it’s about to combust. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Geothermal energy, the forgotten renewable, has finally arrived," 20 Dec. 2020 If there’s a way to push superheroes any further than this—full-on rapey murderers whose villainy is covered up by the pharmaceutical giant that not-so-secretly made them—the culture would have to combust. Jason Kehe, Wired, "Television Like The Boys Is Destroying You," 16 Oct. 2020 By the next year, the unrest would combust into the most fearsome rebellion of the long, hot summer of 1967. Eli Day, The New Republic, "How a Radical Black Tradition Could Buoy Biden in Michigan," 5 Oct. 2020 Letting the fossil-fuel companies move lawsuits to federal courts would effectively cause the cases to combust because of the Court’s AEP precedent. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Supreme Court’s Hot Takes," 4 Oct. 2020 Any type of lava would be hot enough to combust standard walls made of wood, which immediately bursts into flames at around 373 degrees Celsius. Sofie Bates, Popular Mechanics, "What If ‘Floor Is Lava’ Used Actual Lava?," 30 June 2020 Also added that, in the meantime, the equipment cannot be used to combust hazardous waste. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, "Coal, oil and a library: 10 Indiana requests to break environmental rules during the pandemic," 10 Apr. 2020 Just as our world was being upended by the coronavirus, U.S. Soccer was in the process of self-combusting. Ann Killion,, "Can coronavirus shutdown lead to equal pay for U.S. women’s soccer?," 6 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for combust

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

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Statistics for combust

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Combust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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