[ in-flam-uh-buhl ]
/ ɪnˈflæm ə bəl /


capable of being set on fire; combustible; flammable.
easily aroused or excited, as to passion or anger; irascible: an inflammable disposition.


something inflammable.

Origin of inflammable

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin inflammābilis, equivalent to Latin inflammā(re) to inflame + -bilis -ble
SYNONYMS FOR inflammable
Related forms
Can be confusedinflammable inflammatory

Usage note

Inflammable and flammable both mean “combustible.” Inflammable is the older by about 200 years. Flammable now has certain technical uses, particularly as a warning on vehicles carrying combustible materials, because of a belief that some might interpret the intensive prefix in- of inflammable as a negative prefix and thus think the word means “noncombustible.” Inflammable is the word more usually used in nontechnical and figurative contexts: The speaker ignited the inflammable emotions of the crowd. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inflammability

British Dictionary definitions for inflammability


/ (ɪnˈflæməbəl) /


liable to catch fire; flammable
readily aroused to anger or passion


something that is liable to catch fire
Derived Formsinflammability or inflammableness, nouninflammably, 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 inflammability



early 15c., in medicine, "liable to inflammation," from Middle French inflammable and directly from Medieval Latin inflammabilis, from Latin inflammare (see inflame). As "able to be set alight," c.1600. Related: Inflammability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper