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From Middle English combust (burnt), from Old French combust, from Latin combūstus.


  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌst


combust (third-person singular simple present combusts, present participle combusting, simple past and past participle combusted)

  1. To burn; to catch fire.
    • 2014, Adelais Selwyn, Eadric, volume 1:
      Brom swore after that he spoke only the truth, the truth that as he sat by my side praying for my soul, my body had combusted into flame, the fire rapidly engulfing my entire being.
  2. (intransitive, figuratively) To erupt with enthusiasm or boisterousness.
    • 2012, Oliver Burkeman, The Antidote, Happiness for People who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, →ISBN:
      The audience combusts.


Derived terms[edit]



combust (comparative more combust, superlative most combust)

  1. (obsolete) Burnt.
  2. (astrology) In close conjunction with the sun (so that its astrological influence is "burnt up"), sometimes specified to be within 8 degrees 30'.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970:
      , I.iii.1.3:
      Guianerius had a patient could make Latin verses when the moon was combust, otherwise illiterate.
    • 1644, John Milton, Aeropagitica:
      Who can discern those planets that are oft Combust, and those stars of brightest magnitude that rise and set with the Sun, untill the opposite motion of their orbs bring them to such a place in the firmament, where they may be seen evning or morning.



  1. (obsolete) That which undergoes burning.