inflammable was our Word of the Day on 03/08/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of inflammable in a Sentence
some pajamas are made of inflammable material, so be careful
Recent Examples of inflammable from the Web
The tenants were essentially living on the top of a highly inflammable firetrap, one in which mass evacuation was impossible, as was evidenced when a few of victims filmed their last moments with their phones.
This is because of the inflammable hydrogen used in the Zeppelin.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inflammable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Why inflammable is Not the Opposite of flammable
Combustible and incombustible are opposites, but flammable and inflammable are synonyms. How can that be? The in- of incombustible is a common prefix meaning "not," but the in- of inflammable is a different prefix. Inflammable, which dates back to 1605, descends from Latin inflammare ("to inflame"), itself from in- (here meaning "in" or "into") plus flammare ("to flame"). Flammable also comes from flammare but didn't enter English until 1813. In the early 20th century, firefighters worried that people might think inflammable meant "not able to catch fire," so they adopted flammable and nonflammable as official safety labels and encouraged their use to prevent confusion. In general use, flammable is now the preferred term for describing things that can catch fire, but inflammable is still occasionally used with that meaning as well.
Origin and Etymology of inflammable
French, from Medieval Latin inflammabilis, from Latin inflammare
First Known Use: 1605See Words from the same year
INFLAMMABLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of inflammable for English Language Learners
: capable of being set on fire and of burning quickly
: easily excited or angered
INFLAMMABLE Defined for Kids
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