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flammable

[flam-uh-buh l]
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adjective
  1. easily set on fire; combustible; inflammable.
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Origin of flammable

1805–15; < Latin flammā(re) to set on fire + -ble
Related formsflam·ma·bil·i·ty, noun

Usage note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for flammability

flammable

adjective
  1. liable to catch fire; readily combustible; inflammable
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Derived Formsflammability, noun

usage

Flammable and inflammable are interchangeable when used of the properties of materials. Flammable is, however, often preferred for warning labels as there is less likelihood of misunderstanding (inflammable being sometimes taken to mean not flammable). Inflammable is preferred in figurative contexts: this could prove to be an inflammable situation
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 flammability

flammable

adj.

1813, from Latin flammare "to set on fire" (from flamma; see flame) + -able.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper