ig·​ni·​tion | \ ig-ˈni-shən How to pronounce ignition (audio) \

Definition of ignition

1a : the device that is used to ignite the fuel mixture in a gasoline engine put the key in the ignition
b : the process or means (such as an electric spark) of igniting a fuel mixture
2 : 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

Examples of ignition in a Sentence

There's a problem with the car's ignition.
Recent Examples on the Web The grill has an electronic ignition system for all burners and other highlights include two large side shelves for storage plus tool holders and a bottle opener. Camryn Rabideau, Popular Mechanics, 5 May 2022 Heat and drought are also priming new terrain for ignition, including rainforests, permafrost and peat swamps, according to the report. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2022 He also is charged with misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, failing to stop, having an open container in his vehicle and operating it without an ignition interlock system he was required to have. Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Nov. 2021 Photos taken from the investigation also showed that the keys were still in the ignition and the truck was in reverse. Teresa Moss, Arkansas Online, 17 Mar. 2022 Cleveland National Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy acknowledged that crews were in the forest around the time of ignition. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2022 But the element that’s missing, from Ray’s recent work especially, is some form of ignition. Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2022 Not only will winds be strong enough to kick up dust and raise the risk of wildfire ignition, the gusts will also bring the potential for power outages, AccuWeather warned. Editors, USA TODAY, 15 Dec. 2021 D’Agostino’s team says rainfall in the coming weeks could greatly reduce risk of wildfire ignition. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of ignition

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for ignition

Time Traveler

The first known use of ignition was in 1612

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Dictionary Entries Near ignition



ignition charge

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Statistics for ignition

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ignition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignition. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ignition


ig·​ni·​tion | \ ig-ˈni-shən How to pronounce ignition (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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