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[kuh m-buhst] /kəmˈbʌst/
verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
to burn.
Origin of combust
1325-75; Middle English < Latin combūstus (past participle of combūrere to burn up, equivalent to com- com- + -ūs- variant stem of ūrere to burn + -tus past participle suffix; -b- by misanalysis of ambūrere, another derivative, as am- + -būrere) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for combust
  • The impact causes the warhead to combust before it hits the armour.
  • The biggest causes are the operation of fossil fuel-burning power plants and automobiles that combust fuel.
  • Then, last summer, his campaign seemed to spontaneously combust in a puff of fund-raising troubles and staff intrigue.
  • Libertarians will combust over the taxes needed to fund the stake, contending that they will inhibit economic growth.
  • It doesn't combust even when you try to light it on fire.
  • Such conditions include overcharging or collisions, which can cause the batteries to combust or even explode.
  • The fact that they demonstrably can spontaneously combust three weeks after being damaged is a matter of great concern.
  • Since metals will not combust, incineration is not an effective method for treating metal-bearing hazardous wastes.
  • Hydroelectric facilities and electric utilities that combust natural gas are not required to report.
  • Most of the time these systems are in standby mode, ready to combust gases as soon as they enter the flare.
British Dictionary definitions for combust


(astrology) (of a star or planet) invisible for a period between 24 and 30 days each year due to its proximity to the sun
(chem) 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
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Word Origin and History for combust

late 14c. as an adjective, "burnt," from Old French combust (14c.), from Latin combustus, past participle of combuere "to burn up, consume" (see combustion). Also an astrological term for planets when near the sun. The verb is attested from late 15c. Related: Combusted; combusting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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