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Words nearby barnburner
What does barnburner mean?
A barnburner is something that is especially exciting, thrilling, or impressive. It’s most commonly applied to sports games.
Barnburner is a sports cliché. It’s especially used to refer to matchups that are consistently exciting throughout the entire game and then go down to wire, which is another sports cliché that means that they’re not decided until the very end of the game.
Example: Did you catch that triple-overtime game last night? What a barnburner!
Where does barnburner come from?
The word barnburner dates back to the 1800s. It was originally and is still primarily used in the U.S. It’s a reference to a story about a farmer whose method to get rid of the rats that infested his barn was burning down the barn entirely. The term was used in the mid-1800s as a nickname for members of a faction of the New York State Democratic Party—the metaphor being that they wanted to root out corruption by burning everything down, instead of instituting individual reforms.
Today, the word barnburner is used to refer to a very exciting event, especially a sports game that’s very close. A fast-paced baseball game with several lead changes that comes down to the last out in the bottom of the ninth inning could be called a barnburner. But barnburner is typically applied to exciting sports. A basketball game that ends in a buzzer-beater (a game-winning shot right before time runs out) in double-overtime definitely qualifies as a barnburner.
Less commonly, barnburner can be applied to other thrilling events, such as a close political race, or something considered very impressive and intense, such as a fiery speech or piece of writing.
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How is barnburner used in real life?
Barnburner is perhaps most commonly used in sports commentary.
The Lady Redskins hit a big 3 at the buzzer to pull out a barnburner 43-40 win over the Lady Trojans at Newcomerstown! Great Job Girls!
— Coshocton Athletics (@Skins_Athletics) December 5, 2019
The fact that Maine is a Biden/Sanders barnburner pretty much tells you all you need to know tonight.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) March 4, 2020
#phish kept their no-repeat streak going with a barnburner on Friday night in North Charleston to open the final run of Fall Tour 2019. Check out a recap, the setlist and The Skinny from last night's show https://t.co/i0ZxLhrLUC
— JamBase (@JamBase) December 7, 2019
Try using barnburner!
Is barnburner used correctly in the following sentence?
The much-hyped game turned out to be one-sided and boring—a real barnburner.
Example sentences from the Web for barnburner
They rely more on the strength of their ideas than barnburner narratives.Iraq, Terror, and the Surreal: Hassan Blasim’s ‘The Corpse Exhibition’|Brian Van Reet|March 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But how many of you can honestly say you think that second Nixon term was just a barnburner?
It offered to admit the Barnburner and Hunker delegations together to cast the vote of the State.Martin Van Buren|Edward M. Shepard
We cannot insist on a mission for him and the collectorship for a Barnburner.Letters and Literary Memorials of Samuel J. Tilden, v. 1|Samuel J. Tilden