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Back-formation from inflammable, which is used to avoid confusion with non-flammable, as the prefix in- is often used to mean "un-; non-", although it was originally meant in a sense closely related to en-.
- Capable of burning, especially a liquid.
- flammable liquid
- Easily set on fire.
- Subject to easy ignition and rapid flaming combustion.
- (figurative) Very likely to cause fighting or controversy; extremely contentious.
- 1971, United States. Department of Defense, United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967, page 42:
- In considering the possible commitment of U.S. forces to South Vietnam , the Joint Chiefs of Staff have reviewed the overall critical situation in Southeast Asia with particular emphasis upon the present highly flammable situation in South Vietnam.
- 2002, Gregory Toledo, The Hanging of Old Brown, page 27:
- They could stuff their ears with cotton, but they could not, after all, fight such flammable ideas ( at least not in the public squares where Attucks's war whoops could still be heard ).
- 2004, Elizabeth Prioleau, Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love:
- With her play Diamond Lil, she discovered a way to sneak her flammable subject matter past the censors.
- 2015, Adriaan Groenewald, Seamless Leadership: A passion to perform in South Africa:
- King's words touch on a higher law of leadership, that the solution to a sensitive and highly contentious and even flammable situation often lies in doing the opposite of what is expected and even perceived as normal or 'natural'.
- 2021, Esra Gultakin, In the Shallows: Awaken Your Mind:
- Evelyn realized that Adam's flammable words and angry eyes were only the form of his untold pain, holding the strongest words of his heart, unspoken.
- inflammable (in the original sense)
- inflammable (in the newer sense)
- non-flammable, nonflammable
capable of burning — see also inflammable
easily set on fire
subject to easy ignition and rapid flaming combustion
flammable (plural flammables)
- Any flammable substance.