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Word of the week – inflammable

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inflammable; adjective

flammable

easily inflamed, excited, or angered : irascible

Example Sentence:

The messenger trembled as he stuttered out the news of the army’s defeat to the highly inflammable king.

Did you know?

“Combustible” and “incombustible” are opposites but “flammable” and “inflammable” are synonyms. Why? The “in-” of “incombustible” is a common prefix meaning “not,” but the “in-” of “inflammable” is a different prefix. “Inflammable,” which dates back to 1605, descends from Latin “inflammare” (“to inflame”), itself from “in-” (here meaning “in” or “into”) plus “flammare” (“to flame”). “Flammable” also comes from “flammare,” but didn’t enter English until 1813. In the early 20th century, firefighters worried that people might think “inflammable” meant “not able to catch fire,” so they adopted “flammable” and “nonflammable” as official safety labels and encouraged their use to prevent confusion. In general use, “flammable” is now the preferred term for describing things that can catch fire, but “inflammable” is still occasionally used with that meaning as well.

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