the ignition of a substance or body from the rapid oxidation of its own constituents without heat from any external source.
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- spontaneous abortion,
- spontaneous amputation,
- spontaneous gangrene of newborn,
- spontaneous generation,
- spontaneous intermittent mandatory ventilation,
- spontaneous mutation,
- spontaneous pneumothorax
Origin of spontaneous combustion
First recorded in 1800–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
the ignition of a substance or body as a result of internal oxidation processes, without the application of an external source of heat, occurring in finely powdered ores, coal, straw, etc
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
The bursting into flame of a mass of material as a result of chemical reactions within the substance, without the addition of heat from an external source. Oily rags and damp hay, for example, are subject to spontaneous combustion.
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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.