[ bahrn-bur-ner ]
/ ˈbɑrnˌbɜr nər /


Informal. something that is highly exciting, impressive, etc.: The All Stars game was a real barnburner.
Chiefly Pennsylvania. a wooden friction match.
(initial capital letter) a member of the progressive faction in the Democratic Party in New York State 1845–52.Compare Hunker.

Origin of barnburner

1835–45, Americanism; barn1 + burner; (def 3) so called with reference to burning down a barn to get rid of rats Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for barn-burner

  • It was a barn-burner, which had the crowd laughing and cheering at his challenges to mainstream media.

    The Tea Party, Day 2|John Avlon|February 6, 2010|DAILY BEAST
  • Coming from our old home, he tells us the barn-burner has been found, and confessed his crime!

  • The poison has done its work, and there is no employment here for a man suspected of being a barn-burner.