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inflammable

[in-flam-uh-buh l]
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adjective
  1. capable of being set on fire; combustible; flammable.
  2. easily aroused or excited, as to passion or anger; irascible: an inflammable disposition.
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noun
  1. something inflammable.
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Origin of inflammable

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin inflammābilis, equivalent to Latin inflammā(re) to inflame + -bilis -ble
Related formsin·flam·ma·bil·i·ty, in·flam·ma·ble·ness, nounin·flam·ma·bly, adverbnon·in·flam·ma·bil·i·ty, nounnon·in·flam·ma·ble, adjectivenon·in·flam·ma·ble·ness, nounnon·in·flam·ma·bly, adverbun·in·flam·ma·bil·i·ty, nounun·in·flam·ma·ble, adjective
Can be confusedinflammable inflammatory

Synonyms

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2. fiery, volatile, choleric.

Usage note

Inflammable and flammable both mean “combustible.” Inflammable is the older by about 200 years. Flammable now has certain technical uses, particularly as a warning on vehicles carrying combustible materials, because of a belief that some might interpret the intensive prefix in- of inflammable as a negative prefix and thus think the word means “noncombustible.” Inflammable is the word more usually used in nontechnical and figurative contexts: The speaker ignited the inflammable emotions of the crowd.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inflammable

Historical Examples

  • Her heart seemed not easy to reach; her impulses were not inflammable.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Somewhere it would finally reach wood; that was inflammable.

    The Mind Master

    Arthur J. Burks

  • The remainder was inflammable, and burned with a blue flame.

  • Especially, if you both have inflammable tempers, do not both get mad at once.

    The Wedding Ring

    T. De Witt Talmage

  • Like oxygen, it supports the combustion of some inflammable substances.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy

    Catherine Esther Beecher


British Dictionary definitions for inflammable

inflammable

adjective
  1. liable to catch fire; flammable
  2. readily aroused to anger or passion
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noun
  1. something that is liable to catch fire
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Derived Formsinflammability or inflammableness, nouninflammably, adverb

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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

Word Origin and History for inflammable

adj.

early 15c., in medicine, "liable to inflammation," from Middle French inflammable and directly from Medieval Latin inflammabilis, from Latin inflammare (see inflame). As "able to be set alight," c.1600. Related: Inflammability.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper