combustion

[ kuh m-buhs-chuh n ]
/ kəmˈbʌs tʃən /

noun

the act or process of burning.
Chemistry.
  1. rapid oxidation accompanied by heat and, usually, light.
  2. chemical combination attended by production of heat and light.
  3. slow oxidation not accompanied by high temperature and light.
violent excitement; tumult.

Origin of combustion

1400–50; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Late Latin combūstiōn- (stem of combūstiō). See combust, -ion

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for self-combustion

combustion

/ (kəmˈbʌstʃən) /

noun

the process of burning
any process in which a substance reacts with oxygen to produce a significant rise in temperature and the emission of light
a chemical process in which two compounds, such as sodium and chlorine, react together to produce heat and light
a process in which a compound reacts slowly with oxygen to produce little heat and no light

Derived Forms

combustive, noun, adjective

Word Origin for combustion

C15: from Old French, from Latin combūrere to burn up, from com- (intensive) + ūrere to burn
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

Medicine definitions for self-combustion

combustion

[ kəm-bŭschən ]

n.

The process of burning.
A chemical change, especially oxidation, accompanied by the production of heat and light.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for self-combustion

combustion

[ kəm-bŭschən ]

The process of burning.
A chemical change, especially through the rapid combination of a substance with oxygen, producing heat and, usually, light. See also spontaneous combustion.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for self-combustion

combustion

Burning; a chemical reaction that involves the rapid combination of a fuel with oxygen. (See oxidation and spontaneous combustion.)


The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.