- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
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
February 6, 2010
The poison has done its work, and there is no employment here for a man suspected of being a barn-burner.
Coming from our old home, he tells us the barn-burner has been found, and confessed his crime!