[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

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British Dictionary definitions for combustible



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 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

Medicine definitions for combustible




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.