[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. barnard, henry,
  2. barnardo,
  3. barnaul,
  4. barnave,
  5. barnboard,
  6. barnburners,
  7. barnes,
  8. barnes curve,
  9. barnes, albert,
  10. barnes, albert coombs

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.