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 In the two months since, the delirium has settled into something duller, less frantic—the keys are in the ignition, but my mind simply will not turn over. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "America Has Pandemic Senioritis," 15 Apr. 2021 In Boston, the 61-story luxury tower One Dalton required the construction of a new natural gas pipeline to service units with amenities such as gas ignition fireplaces. BostonGlobe.com, "The costs of a secretive ‘wealth defense industry’ of shell companies, offshore tax havens, and empty luxury condos," 1 Apr. 2021 The fire science continues to evolve, and meteorologists and ecologists have developed numerous ways to measure fire ignition and spread potential. oregonlive, "Other utilities cut power to reduce Labor Day fire risks. Pacific Power did not. Now it may face the consequences," 28 Mar. 2021 Most, but by no means all, ignition systems are powered by 12-volt batteries. Bob Beacham, chicagotribune.com, "The best timing light," 21 Mar. 2021 This film dismantles the false framework of the present-day reality of Black women through narration and celebrates their extraordinary heritage, with an ignition of hope for the next generation. Katey Clifford, cleveland, "‘OWN Spotlight: (In)Visible Portraits’ | How to watch, live stream, TV channel, time," 2 Mar. 2021 Federal switched to a faster, cleaner-burning powder and their lead-free Catalyst primer, improving ignition, especially in cold conditions. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, "The Best Shotgun Loads for 5 Late-Season Birds," 20 Jan. 2021 For example, the muzzleloaders using Federal’s Firestick ignition technology are often accosted as being basically a cartridge rifle that shouldn’t be allowed in muzzleloader seasons. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Where Do We Draw the Line on New Hunting Technology?," 20 Jan. 2021 Along the way Sreten amiably rebuilds the brakes, suspension, ignition, fuel injectors, the A/C, P/S, flex disc and center support bearing. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2021 BMW M550i: A Sedan That Won’t Put You to Sleep," 23 Dec. 2020

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 2

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Time Traveler for ignition

Time Traveler

The first known use of ignition was in 1612

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Statistics for ignition

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ignition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ignition. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ignition



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 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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