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[kuh m-buhs-tuh-buh l] /kəmˈbʌs tə bəl/
capable of catching fire and burning; inflammable; flammable:
Gasoline vapor is highly combustible.
easily excited:
a high-strung, combustible nature.
a combustible substance:
Trucks carrying combustibles will not be allowed to use this tunnel.
Origin of combustible
From the Late Latin word combūstibilis, dating back to 1520-30. See combust, -ible
Related forms
combustibility, combustibleness, noun
combustibly, adverb
uncombustible, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for combustible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let us, at risk of some iteration, consider some of these combustible elements.

    Demonology and Devil-lore Moncure Daniel Conway
  • I know that there are combustible materials there, and that they wait the torch only.

  • Others, having been daubed over with combustible materials, were set up as lights in the night-time, and thus burned to death.

  • In half an hour, the huts were stripped of their most combustible material.

  • I firmly believe that life as now manifested in our bodies is a combustible force identical with that of any other form of life.

    Tyranny of God Joseph Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for combustible


capable of igniting and burning
easily annoyed; excitable
a combustible substance
Derived Forms
combustibility, combustibleness, noun
combustibly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for combustible

1520s, from Middle French combustible, or directly from Late Latin combustibilis, from Latin combustus, past participle of combuere "to burn up, consume" (see combustion). Figurative sense is from 1640s; as a noun, from 1680s. Related: Combustibility (late 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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combustible in Medicine

combustible com·bus·ti·ble (kəm-bŭs'tə-bəl)
Capable of igniting and burning. n.
A substance that ignites and burns readily.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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