spontaneous combustion

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n spontaneous combustion ignition of a substance (as oily rags) resulting from an internal oxidation process
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Spontaneous combustion combustion produced in a substance by the evolution of heat through the chemical action of its own elements; as, the spontaneous combustion of waste matter saturated with oil.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Spontaneous combustion burning caused by heat generated in the substance itself
    • Spontaneous combustion a phenomenon that occasionally manifests itself in mineral and organic substances
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Quotations

  • Reggie Leach
    Reggie Leach
    “Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion, you must set yourself on fire first.”

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. spontaneussponte, of one's own accord.

Usage

In literature:

There are numerous cases of spontaneous combustion of the human body reported by the older writers.
"Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine" by George M. Gould
It's not a case of spontaneous, but it's smouldering combustion it is.
"Bleak House" by Charles Dickens
There were no clues, and the scientists of that time suggested spontaneous combustion.
"The Silent Bullet" by Arthur B. Reeve
It was a case of spontaneous combustion.
"The Armies of Labor" by Samuel P. Orth
You look as if you were in a state of spontaneous combustion and couldn't stand it another minute.
"Capitola's Peril" by Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth
P. 202, COMBUSTION, invalid link: 'SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION'.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
One by spontaneous combustion Mr. Krook.
"The Crown of Wild Olive" by John Ruskin
It would be too much to ask any one to believe that this was spontaneous combustion, also!
"The Destroyer" by Burton Egbert Stevenson
He had really died of spontaneous combustion, which fact gave rise to such a fabulous story.
"The Grandee" by Armando Palacio Valdés
It's a wonder you don't blow up with spontaneous combustion.
"The Battleship Boys' First Step Upward" by Frank Gee Patchin
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In poetry:

The cat sitting down by the kitchen fire,
Chewed up the fender and did expire;
And a fly on the ceiling - the case is the worst 'un -
Blew itself up with spontaneous combustion.
"A Norrible Tale" by Anonymous British

In news:

A fire that lit up the sky and forced hundreds from their homes is being blamed on spontaneous combustion .
Songwriting as "Spontaneous Combustion ".
Lafayette house fire likely sparked by spontaneous combustion of rags.
If I see another one, I may spontaneously combust.
The fire, which started earlier in the week, is believed to have started by spontaneous combustion.
South Lee County mulch fire caused by spontaneous combustion.
60-plus acre vegetation fire contained, caused by 'spontaneous combustion' of mulch .
JACKSON, MI – Spontaneous combustion has plagued my wife's workplace in Lansing all spring.
Spontaneous Combustion Is Easier Than You Think.
Visual effects house Spontaneous Combustion (www.spon.com ) provided the effects and animation for the new fruit snack Gushers spot "Karate," which blends live action and CG effects.
"Investigators determined that one of the sorting containers contained a large amount of oily rags and spontaneously combusted, causing the fire," a fire-rescue department press release says.
If you just throw the rags out or leave them in a pile they may spontaneously combust.
"It was spontaneous combustion," said Utica Fire Capt.
Piles of straw, coal, and even large manure piles can spontaneously combust.
Clarinda hay bale fire caused by spontaneous combustion.
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