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[in-flam-uh-buh l] /ɪnˈflæm ə bəl/
capable of being set on fire; combustible; flammable.
easily aroused or excited, as to passion or anger; irascible:
an inflammable disposition.
something inflammable.
Origin of inflammable
1595-1605; < Medieval Latin inflammābilis, equivalent to Latin inflammā(re) to inflame + -bilis -ble
Related forms
inflammability, inflammableness, noun
inflammably, adverb
noninflammability, noun
noninflammable, adjective
noninflammableness, noun
noninflammably, adverb
uninflammability, noun
uninflammable, adjective
Can be confused
inflammable, inflammatory.
2. fiery, volatile, choleric.
Usage note
Inflammable and flammable both mean “combustible.” Inflammable is the older by about 200 years. Flammable now has certain technical uses, particularly as a warning on vehicles carrying combustible materials, because of a belief that some might interpret the intensive prefix in- of inflammable as a negative prefix and thus think the word means “noncombustible.” Inflammable is the word more usually used in nontechnical and figurative contexts: The speaker ignited the inflammable emotions of the crowd. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for inflammable
  • His choreography and direction burn up superlatives as if they were inflammable.
  • The shock scattered its glowing contents through the car, and in an instant the highly inflammable woodwork was blazing.
  • Then it came to be believed that small fires could sometimes be a useful tool, keeping inflammable underbrush in check.
  • Petrol, another established solvent, is highly inflammable.
  • The authorities said an inflammable liquid was thrown through a window.
  • Vandalising pipes carrying inflammable liquid is hazardous.
  • It is generally believed that the rebels there have burned everything of an inflammable nature.
  • They have modified electrolytes that are inflammable.
  • For better fire protection, they are used instead of easily inflammable mineral oil based fluids in zones exposed to fire risks.
  • He collected some of this gas and discovered that it was inflammable.
British Dictionary definitions for inflammable


liable to catch fire; flammable
readily aroused to anger or passion
something that is liable to catch fire
Derived Forms
inflammability, inflammableness, noun
inflammably, adverb
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 inflammable

early 15c., in medicine, "liable to inflammation," from Middle French inflammable and directly from Medieval Latin inflammabilis, from Latin inflammare (see inflame). As "able to be set alight," c.1600. Related: Inflammability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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