[ flam-uh-buh l ]
/ ˈflæm ə bəl /


easily set on fire; combustible; inflammable.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for flammable

British Dictionary definitions for flammable


/ (ˈflæməbəl) /


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


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 flammable



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper