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

Likes, 1-click buying, retweets, Amazon Dash order buttons, binge watching, keyless ignition. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "Anything Good Takes Exactly Five Meetings," 18 Nov. 2018 One of these, first reported back in August 2017, is Mazda's breakthrough with compression ignition. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Compression ignition engines are a big breakthrough—we got to try one," 25 Jan. 2018 That could disable lights, air bags, ignition, sensors or other essential systems. Fox News, "20-40K cars to be damaged by Florence's floods, report says," 19 Sep. 2018 Flick a toggle switch to turn on the ignition, then nudge the red start button to fire it up. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "How a day driving high-downforce cars at VIR taught me I’m OK being slow," 11 Sep. 2018 Tilden said airplanes don’t have door keys or ignition keys like cars do. Seattle Times Staff & News Services, The Seattle Times, "How it unfolded: Full coverage of the Horizon Air crash and the man who stole the plane from Sea-Tac," 13 Aug. 2018 There’s no need to put the key in the ignition anymore. Kim Komando, Fox News, "Why you should wrap your car keys in aluminum foil," 12 Aug. 2018 Bendlin is required to have a ignition interlock device installed in his car, but did not have one at the time of the traffic stop, police said. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee man charged with drunken driving for sixth time," 5 July 2018 An ignition interlock analyzes a driver’s breath and prevents a car from being started if alcohol is detected. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "State Patrol: Suspect in deadly head-on crash near Arlington convicted of DUI six times," 2 July 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

24 Dec 2018

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on ignition

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ignition

Spanish Central: Translation of ignition

Nglish: Translation of ignition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ignition for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ignition

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