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deflagrate (DEF-luh-grayt) verb tr. and intr.

To burn or cause to burn something rapidly and violently.

[From Latin deflagratus, past participle of deflagrare (to burn down), from de- (intensive prefix) + flagrare (to blaze).]

Another word that shares the same root is "flagrant". When a politician engages in flagrant misuse of public money, his actions are so glaring that they cannot escape attention. It's as if he were literally burning public money.

"`It is easy to inject fuel into a chamber and get it to deflagrate,' or burn, in a manner similar to the V-1 engine, according to John B. Hinkey ...." Paul Proctor, Pulse Detonation Technologies Advance, Aviation Week & Space Technology (New York), May 4, 1998.

This week's theme: You guess the theme.


There is no den in the wide world to hide a rogue. Commit a crime and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge, and fox, and squirrel. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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