Comestible vs combustible

  • Comestible and combustible are two words that are sometimes confused. We will examine the differing definitions of comestible and combustible, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences,


    Comestible means something edible, a food item, something that may be eaten. Comestible may be used as a noun or an adjective. It is derived from the Latin word comedere which means to consume, to eat up. There plural form of comestible is comestibles.


    Combustible describes a substance that easily catches fire, that may burn up with little effort. The word combustible is also used figuratively to mean someone or something that becomes excited easily or is annoyed easily. The word combustible may be used as either a noun or adjective. Combustible is derived from the Latin word combuere which means to burn up, or to consume. The plural form of combustible is combustibles.


    According to the league’s website, “Language loves food: cornucopia, ambrosia, delicatessen, confectionery, aphrodisiac, and the show’s title, comestible, are such lovely words upon the tongue, that they almost have their own flavor.” (Maneater Magazine)

    Last September, the Internet embraced a video clip of a rat dragging the city’s finest populist comestible down a subway staircase. (The New York Times)

    Commercial development of the globe’s huge reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as “combustible ice” has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the seafloor off their coastlines. (The Independent)

    He said the safety considerations are combustible materials that are around the outdoor firepit, fireplace or other containers whether it be the deck, vinyl siding, leaves piled up along the edge of the house or items under the deck that can catch on fire. (The Minot Daily News)

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