combustion

noun
com·​bus·​tion | \ kəm-ˈbəs-chən How to pronounce combustion (audio) \

Definition of combustion

1 : an act or instance of burning Smoke is produced during combustion.
2 : a usually rapid chemical process (such as oxidation) that produces heat and usually light The carburetor mixes fuel with air for combustion. also : a slower oxidation (as in the body)
3 : violent agitation : tumult … periods of great social combustion alternating with quiescence …— Kurt Andersen

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Other Words from combustion

combustive \ kəm-​ˈbə-​stiv How to pronounce combustive (audio) \ adjective

Examples of combustion in a Sentence

Combustion may occur at high temperatures. This ratio of air to fuel results in better combustion.

Recent Examples on the Web

One big unknown in these forecasts is the scale of global fossil-fuel combustion. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "In a changing climate, will fire make a bigger run in Washington’s west-side forests?," 4 Sep. 2018 Perhaps most important, Tatarevic says, is that the housing for the electric motors matches that of GM’s combustion LS motors, which are supremely popular. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Chevy’s new electric Camaro is the near future of EV drag racing," 4 Nov. 2018 The final insult included diesel fuel combustion byproducts from heavy equipment used at the site. NBC News, "More evidence firefighters risk cancer from 9/11 exposure," 26 Apr. 2018 The combustion of fuels to operate cars, trucks, boats, planes and railroads releases more than 40 percent of the state’s total emissions. Hal Bernton, The Seattle Times, "Who would pay a state carbon fee on November ballot, and who gets a pass?," 17 Sep. 2018 But the turbochargers that are all but omnipresent in today's two-liter engines don't play nicely with high compression ratios, because the combustion can become erratic and possibly result in engine knock (unwanted detonation of the fuel-air mix). Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Variable-compression engine meets crossover: Infiniti QX50 review," 8 Nov. 2018 Warmer temperatures are drying out vegetation faster each year, extending the window of combustion. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "Smoky Seattle summers: Expect more of them, scientists say," 14 Aug. 2018 Using both injection types allows finer tuning of the combustion process, and Ford applied the same dual-injection trick to the F-150’s 5.0-liter V-8 and its turbocharged 2.7-liter V-6. Car and Driver, "2018 10Best Trucks and SUVs: The Best Models in Every Segment," 30 Jan. 2018 That means waste heat, vented from cooling towers, losing 30 to 40 percent of the energy created by combustion. David Roberts, Vox, "That natural gas power plant with no carbon emissions or air pollution? It works.," 1 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for combustion

Middle English combustioun "burning, calcination," borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French combustion, borrowed from Late Latin combustiōn-, combustiō "burning up (of the dead or by the fires in hell)," from Latin combus-, variant stem of combūrere "to destroy with fire, reduce to ashes" + -tiōn-, tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at combust

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Statistics for combustion

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for combustion

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

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More Definitions for combustion

combustion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of combustion

technical
: the act of burning
technical : a chemical reaction that occurs when oxygen combines with other substances to produce heat and usually light

combustion

noun
com·​bus·​tion | \ kəm-ˈbəs-chən How to pronounce combustion (audio) \

Kids Definition of combustion

: the process of burning

combustion

noun
com·​bus·​tion | \ kəm-ˈbəs-chən How to pronounce combustion (audio) \

Medical Definition of combustion

: a usually very rapid chemical process (as oxidation) that produces heat and usually light also : a slower oxidation (as in the body)

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More from Merriam-Webster on combustion

Spanish Central: Translation of combustion

Nglish: Translation of combustion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of combustion for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about combustion

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