Definition of combust in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəmˈbʌst/


[with object]
1Consume or destroy by fire: when fossil fuels are combusted, oxides are emitted into the atmosphere
More example sentences
  • Researchers are trying to eliminate the flame, replacing it with a catalyst that combusts methane at lower temperature, emitting less smog-producing nitrogen oxide pollution.
  • The latter provides the oxygen required to combust the soot particles and is completely reduced to nitrogen oxide in the process.
  • You need to essentially combust a lot of fossil fuel to make your nitrogen even for some sugar cane plantations.
1.1 [no object] Be consumed or destroyed by fire: one day the whole building will combust
More example sentences
  • This gentle contemplation was soon broken, however, by the overwhelming odours of sulphur and phosphorous, and for a brief moment the thought occurred that the building had spontaneously combusted from the pure energy.
  • The Daily Mail building would spontaneously combust.
  • Fiberglass insulation, in contrast, melts at slightly over 1,100 degrees, and cellulose combusts during house fires.



Example sentences
  • Many technology experts predict that coal gasifiers - rather than traditional coal combustors - will form the core of advanced, 21st century, super-clean power plants.
  • For example, municipal waste combustors are estimated to have emitted collectively nearly 18 pounds of dioxin toxic equivalents in 1987, but under EPA regulations, they are now expected to emit less than 1/2 ounce per year.
  • Eighty-seven percent of the mercury going out into the atmosphere is coming from utility boilers, waste combustors, coal-fired power plants, cement plants and medical incinerators.


Late 15th century: from obsolete combust 'burnt, calcined', from Latin combustus, past participle of comburere 'burn up'.

Words that rhyme with combust

adjust, august, bust, crust, dust, encrust, entrust, gust, just, lust, mistrust, must, robust, rust, thrust, trust, undiscussed

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: com|bust

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