- 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 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
But how many of you can honestly say you think that second Nixon term was just a barnburner?McGovern's Legacy
October 22, 2012
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
It offered to admit the Barnburner and Hunker delegations together to cast the vote of the State.Martin Van Buren
Edward M. Shepard