ig·ni·tion | \ig-ˈni-shən \

Definition of ignition 

1 : the act or action of igniting: such as

a : the starting of a fire

b : the heating of a plasma to a temperature high enough to sustain nuclear fusion

2a : the process or means (such as an electric spark) of igniting a fuel mixture

b : a device that activates an ignition system (as in an automobile) put the key in the ignition

Examples of ignition in a Sentence

There's a problem with the car's ignition.

Recent Examples on the Web

At the time of the fatal Reading crash, DeWolfe had an ignition interlock system intended to prevent her from driving drunk. Aimee Ortiz, BostonGlobe.com, "Tyngsborough woman with history of drunk driving due in court for arraignment," 10 July 2018 An unlocked 1996 Saab was stolen between 10:45 and 11:43 a.m., June 19, while it was parked on the 800 block of Higgins Road with the keys in the ignition, police said. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Park Ridge police: Unlocked car stolen after keys left in ignition," 27 June 2018 Some of those include strictly enforcing legal drinking age and zero-tolerance policies for minors, using sobriety checkpoints, requiring ignition interlocks for DWI offenders and raising alcohol taxes. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Stricter state alcohol access rules can save 800 DUI deaths a year, study says," 29 May 2018 The issue being raised stems from the proliferation of vehicles with remote key fobs, also known as proximity keys, that allow them to be operated by pressing a button, rather than requiring a physical key be inserted into an ignition and turned. Fox News, "28 deaths linked to carbon monoxide poisoning by idling cars with keyless ignitions, report says," 14 May 2018 There's also a noticeable lag between turning the ignition and the infotainment display being ready for use. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Mazda CX-9 review: 90% of the luxury for 75% of the price," 27 Apr. 2018 All models get a leather shift knob, an electronic parking brake, keyless ignition, and two USB ports. Steve Siler, Car and Driver, "2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback: iM Just a Corolla Now," 23 Mar. 2018 That's because thieves have learned how to bypass Chevy door lock systems and start the ignition without a key. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "Protecting your property – and yourself – in Southcentral Alaska: Troopers and police share their tips," 1 July 2018 An officer used a lockout tool to unlock the car and turn off the ignition. Brian Lisik/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Driver passed out behind wheel at traffic light: Independence Police Blotter," 7 May 2018

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

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for ignition

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ignition

The first known use of ignition was in 1612

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English Language Learners Definition of ignition

: the electrical system in an engine that causes the fuel to burn so that the engine begins working

: the device that is used to start a car's engine

: the act of causing something to start burning : the act of igniting something


ig·ni·tion | \ig-ˈni-shən \

Kids Definition of ignition

1 : the act of causing something to start burning

2 : the process or means (as an electric spark) of causing the fuel in an engine to burn so that the engine begins working

3 : a device that is used to start a motor vehicle Put the key in the ignition.

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Comments on ignition

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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