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

Other Words from combustion

combustive \ kəm-​ˈbə-​stiv How to pronounce combustion (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 The shift from internal combustion engines to electric cars is one of the biggest carbon-cutting options open to the president. David R. Baker,, 30 July 2022 Because of the emissions associated with making batteries, manufacturing EVs actually releases more greenhouse gases than manufacturing cars with combustion engines. Emma Marris, The Atlantic, 13 July 2022 It is being built at Salzgitter, the massive plant where more than 6800 employees now assemble roughly a million combustion engines a year. John Voelcker, Car and Driver, 8 July 2022 In 2020, Beijing announced plans to ban combustion engines by 2035, too. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 6 July 2022 Fortunately an inflation-busting option is ready to go – modeling shows electric vehicles save drivers thousands per year compared to internal combustion engines in most states. Energy Innovation: Policy And Technology, Forbes, 21 June 2022 Speaking of hooning, the GV60’s Active Sound Design (noise-canceling system) offers drivers the choice of three polyphonic soundscapes to fill the sensory void left by combustion engines. Dan Neil, WSJ, 17 June 2022 Globally, 2022 is the peak year for sales of cars powered by internal combustion engines, which includes gas and diesel ones, according to Bloomberg’s 2022 Electric Vehicle Outlook. Tim Fitzpatrick, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 June 2022 The electric vehicle industry, for all its promise of lowering carbon emissions by removing internal combustion engines and tailpipes, is still filthy. Gregor Stuart Hunter, Fortune, 29 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for combustion

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

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Dictionary Entries Near combustion

combustible shale


combustion chamber

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Statistics for combustion

Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Combustion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for combustion


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

Kids Definition of combustion

: the process of burning


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on combustion

Nglish: Translation of combustion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of combustion for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about combustion


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