[kuh m-buhs-tuh-buh l]


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 formscom·bus·ti·bil·i·ty, com·bus·ti·ble·ness, nouncom·bus·ti·bly, adverbun·com·bus·ti·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for combustibility

Contemporary Examples of combustibility

Historical Examples of combustibility

  • The varnish must be prepared in the open, far from buildings, because of its combustibility.

  • There was something in the combustibility of the gesture that was significant of the whole man.

    The Salamander

    Owen Johnson

  • In our first lecture the combustibility of zinc was mentioned.

  • With the exception of the first and sixth, they owe their combustibility to the presence of sulphide of potassium.

  • Of 80 correct answers, 64, or 80 per cent, referred in one way or another to combustibility.

British Dictionary definitions for combustibility



capable of igniting and burning
easily annoyed; excitable


a combustible substance
Derived Formscombustibility or combustibleness, nouncombustibly, 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

Word Origin and History for combustibility



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

combustibility in Medicine




Capable of igniting and burning.


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.