v. com·bust·ed, com·bust·ing, com·busts
a. To catch fire; burst into flame: The fire started when a pile of oily rags spontaneously combusted.
b. To undergo combustion; burn: As the fuels were combusting they gave off noxious vapors.
2. To become suddenly angry or agitated: The defendant combusted when he heard the verdict.
1. To cause to burn; ignite.
2. To cause to become angry or violent: riots that are combusting whole provinces.
[Back-formation from COMBUSTION.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.