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[flam-uh-buh l] /ˈflæm ə bəl/
easily set on fire; combustible; inflammable.
Origin of flammable
1805-15; < Latin flammā(re) to set on fire + -ble
Related forms
flammability, noun
Usage note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for flammable
  • Investigators said the fire, which quickly spread, appeared to have been started on the fifth floor with a flammable liquid.
  • Language and writing are already rife with comparatively harmless word confusions: flammable vs inflammable, regardless vs.
  • Flaming hurricanes and flammable rain are scientifically impossible, according to myth-busting scientists.
  • In a fire-wise garden, use gravel or decomposed granite-not flammable bark mulch-to cover the bare ground around plants.
  • Hydrogen sulfide is flammable and potentially lethal.
  • The odd name harkens back centuries to when the area was home to highly flammable hay barns.
  • Many people living near fracking sites have complained of bubbly or flammable water.
  • In some cases, because the system was not sized correctly, the contractor put a sealant in place that itself was highly flammable.
  • Tasers can become dangerous if they are used on subjects who have previously been doused with flammable pepper spray.
  • Most heating-system breakdowns are neither dangerous nor serious, even in furnaces that burn highly flammable natural gas.
British Dictionary definitions for flammable


liable to catch fire; readily combustible; inflammable
Derived Forms
flammability, noun
Usage note
Flammable and inflammable are interchangeable when used of the properties of materials. Flammable is, however, often preferred for warning labels as there is less likelihood of misunderstanding (inflammable being sometimes taken to mean not flammable). Inflammable is preferred in figurative contexts: this could prove to be an inflammable situation
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 flammable

1813, from Latin flammare "to set on fire" (from flamma; see flame) + -able.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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