from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To burn or cause to burn with great heat and intense light.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To burn with intense light and heat. Specifically, to combust subsonically through thermal conduction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To burn with a sudden and sparkling combustion, as niter; also, to snap and crackle with slight explosions when heated, as salt.
  • transitive v. To cause to burn with sudden and sparkling combustion, as by the action of intense heat; to burn or vaporize suddenly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To set fire to; burn; consume: as, to deflagrate oil or spirit.
  • To burn; burst into flame; specifically, to burn rapidly, with a sudden evolution of flame and vapor, as a mixture of charcoal and niter thrown into a red-hot crucible.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. burn with great heat and intense light
  • v. cause to burn rapidly and with great intensity


Latin dēflagrāre, dēflagrāt- : dē-, intensive pref.; see de- + flagrāre, to blaze; see bhel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the participle stem of Latin deflagrare, from de + flagrare ("to burn down"). (Wiktionary)


  • This explosion is of a magnitude that could not be caused by anything built in to the buildings or city infrastructure diesel fuel tank for a generator wouldn't detonate like that, it would deflagrate - there's a difference.

    Cloverfield on Yahoo

  • The current induced in the secondary wire of a coil by the discharge of the condenser through the primary, was also sufficiently intense to deflagrate wires of considerable length and thickness.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 275, April 9, 1881

  • Finally, if the amount of picric acid be still further increased under these conditions, it will undergo partial decomposition and volatilise, but will not even deflagrate.

    Nitro-Explosives: A Practical Treatise

  • They are usually made of short slips of metal foil or wire, which melt or deflagrate when the current is too strong, and thus interrupt the circuit.

    The Story of Electricity

  • In making this test the student must remember that sulphur and, in fact, all oxidisable bodies similarly deflagrate, but it is only in the case of carbon compounds that carbonate of potash is formed.

    A Text-book of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines.

  • They deflagrate when sprinkled on fused nitre, forming carbonate of potash.

    A Text-book of Assaying: For the Use of Those Connected with Mines.

  • This week's Word of the Week is actually two words - conflagrate and deflagrate.


  • The fame difficulty accounts for the large proportion of nitre required to deflagrate with it completely; a quantity required, not becaufe there is much combuf - tible matter to be burned, but becaufe a long conti - nued and elevated heat is neceiliiry; by which means much of the nitre is decompofed, and its vital air flies off, without having been employed in the combullion, as appears by the two thirds of the elaftic produft, which will fupport the flame of a candle.

    The first principles of chemistry

  • "But with IMX-101, all that would happen is the explosive would deflagrate (burn quickly), and the shell would break into a few pieces.

    Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense


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