flammable, inflammable

flammable, inflammable
   It is an odd inconsistency of English that incombustible describes an object that wont burn while inflammable describes an object that will. Because the meaning of inflammable is susceptible to misunderstanding, manufacturers and others who deal with combustible materials increasingly use the less ambiguous flammable. In other cases this might be considered a regrettable concession to ignorance, but it would be even more regrettable to insist on linguistic purity at the expense of human safety.

Dictionary of troublesome word. . 2013.

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  • flammable / inflammable —    These two words both mean easily set on fire : a highly flammable/inflammable substance. However, flammable is now used as a warning to avoid misinterpreting the prefix in as negation …   Confused words

  • flammable / inflammable —    These two words both mean easily set on fire : a highly flammable/inflammable substance. However, flammable is now used as a warning to avoid misinterpreting the prefix in as negation …   Confused words

  • flammable, inflammable — These words mean the same thing and are interchangeable. They are not contrasted, as are, for example, capable and incapable, mature and immature. Although both words are correct, flammable is more often used by scientists and in technical… …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • flammable - inflammable — Both flammable and inflammable are used to describe materials or chemicals that burn easily. A window had been smashed and flammable liquid poured in. ...commercial centres, holding large stocks of inflammable materials. ◊ WARNING …   Useful english dictionary

  • flammable, inflammable —    It is an odd inconsistency of English that incombustible describes an object that wont burn while inflammable describes an object that will. Because the meaning of inflammable is susceptible to misunderstanding, manufacturers and others who… …   Dictionary of troublesome word

  • flammable — inflammable, incendiary, inflammatory, *combustible …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • inflammable — See flammable. See flammable, inflammable …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • flammable — See flammable, inflammable …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • inflammable — adj. (esp. BrE) ⇨ See ↑flammable Inflammable is used with these nouns: ↑gas, ↑material …   Collocations dictionary

  • inflammable — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ easily set on fire. ► NOUN ▪ a substance which is easily set on fire. DERIVATIVES inflammability noun inflammableness noun inflammably adverb. USAGE The words inflammable and …   English terms dictionary

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