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[ig-nish-uh n] /ɪgˈnɪʃ ən/
the act or fact of igniting; state of being ignited.
a means or device for igniting.
(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 forms
reignition, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ignition
  • Folks leave their cars unlocked, keys in the ignition.
  • The column is then filled with combustible materials, ready for ignition.
  • The cause of the ignition of some cargo item put in the plane is not yet determined at the time of writing.
  • The heat from this ignition starts the decomposition of the sodium azide and the generation of nitrogen gas to fill the air bag.
  • The steering arm and the ignition key have been modified.
  • We quickly duck into the seats, find the hidden ignition key, and start it up.
  • Inside the dark tube of a ram accelerator, the problems of supersonic ignition seem to disappear.
  • One downside is the high pulse energy required to cause ignition.
  • You'll be shocked to learn that it takes oxygen, a fuel source and ignition.
  • He told her to put the key into the ignition and turn it.
British Dictionary definitions for ignition


the act or process of initiating combustion
the process of igniting the fuel in an internal-combustion engine
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
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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
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