[ig-nish-uh n]
See more synonyms for ignition on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act or fact of igniting; state of being ignited.
  2. a means or device for igniting.
  3. (in an internal-combustion engine) the process that ignites the fuel in the cylinder.

Origin of ignition

1605–15; Medieval Latin ignītiōn- (stem of ignītiō) a setting on fire. See ignite, -ion
Related formsre·ig·ni·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ignition


  1. the act or process of initiating combustion
  2. the process of igniting the fuel in an internal-combustion engine
  3. the ignition the devices used to ignite the fuel in an internal-combustion engine
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 ignition

1610s, "act of heating to the point of combustion," from French ignition (16c.) or directly from Medieval Latin ignitionem (nominative ignitio), from Latin ignire "set on fire," from ignis "fire" (see igneous). Meaning "means of sparking an internal combustion engine" is from 1881.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper