Idioms

Origin of burn

1
before 900; Middle English bernen, brennen, Old English beornan (intransitive), (cognate with Gothic, Old High German brinnan), and Old English bærnan (transitive), (cognate with Gothic brannjan, Old High German brennen)

Related forms

Synonym study

16. Burn, scorch, sear, singe refer to the effect of fire or heat. To burn is to consume, wholly or in part, by contact with fire or excessive heat: to burn leaves. Scorch implies superficial or slight burning, resulting in a change of color or in injury to the texture because of shriveling or curling: to scorch a dress while ironing. Sear refers especially to the drying or hardening caused by heat: to sear a roast of meat. Singe applies especially to a superficial burning that takes off ends or projections: to singe hair; singe the pinfeathers from a chicken.

Definition for burn out (2 of 2)

burnout

[ burn-out ]
/ ˈbɜrnˌaʊt /

noun

a fire that is totally destructive of something.
Also burn-out. fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity.
Rocketry.
  1. the termination of effective combustion in a rocket engine, due to exhaustion of propellant.
  2. the end of the powered portion of a rocket's flight.
Electricity. the breakdown of a lamp, motor, or other electrical device due to the heat created by the current flowing through it.

Origin of burnout

First recorded in 1900–05; noun use of verb phrase burn out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for burn out (1 of 3)

burn out

verb (adverb)

to become or cause to become worn out or inoperative as a result of heat or frictionthe clutch burnt out
(intr) (of a rocket, jet engine, etc) to cease functioning as a result of exhaustion of the fuel supply
(tr; usually passive) to destroy by fire
to become or cause to become exhausted through overwork or dissipation

noun burnout

the failure of a mechanical device from excessive heating
a total loss of energy and interest and an inability to function effectively, experienced as a result of excessive demands upon one's resources or chronic overwork

British Dictionary definitions for burn out (2 of 3)

burn

1
/ (bɜːn) /

verb burns, burning, burnt or burned


noun

Word Origin for burn

Old English beornan (intr), bærnan (tr); related to Old Norse brenna (tr or intr), Gothic brinnan (intr), Latin fervēre to boil, seethe

British Dictionary definitions for burn out (3 of 3)

burn

2
/ (bɜːn, Scottish bʌrn) /

noun

Scot and Northern English a small stream; brook

Word Origin for burn

Old English burna; related to Old Norse brunnr spring, Old High German brunno, Lithuanian briáutis to burst forth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medicine definitions for burn out

burn

[ bûrn ]

v.


n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for burn out

burn

[ bûrn ]

Verb

To be on fire; undergo combustion. A substance burns if it is heated up enough to react chemically with oxygen.
To cause a burn to a bodily tissue.

Noun

Tissue injury caused by fire, heat, radiation (such as sun exposure), electricity, or a caustic chemical agent. Burns are classified according to the degree of tissue damage, which can include redness, blisters, skin edema and loss of sensation. Bacterial infection is a serious and sometimes fatal complication of severe burns.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with burn out (1 of 2)

burn out

1

Stop functioning because something, such as fuel, has been used up. For example, There's nothing wrong with the lamp; the light bulb just burned out. [Late 1300s]


2

be burned out. Lose one's home, place of work, or school as the result of a fire. For example, Hundreds of tenants are burned out every year because of negligent landlords.

3

Also, burn oneself out. Make or become exhausted or disaffected, especially with one's work or schooling. For example, Many young lawyers burn themselves out after a few years of 70-hour weeks. This metaphoric term alludes to a fire going out for lack of new fuel. Robert Southey used it in an 1816 essay: “The spirit of Jacobinism was burnt out in France.” [1970s]

Idioms and Phrases with burn out (2 of 2)

burn

In addition to the idioms beginning with burn

  • burn at the stake
  • burn down
  • burned up
  • burn in effigy
  • burning question
  • burn into
  • burn off
  • burn one's bridges
  • burn oneself out
  • burn one's fingers
  • burn out
  • burn rubber
  • burn someone up
  • burn the candle at both ends
  • burn the midnight oil
  • burn to a cinder
  • burn up

also see:

  • crash and burn
  • ears are burning
  • fiddle while Rome burns
  • (burn) in effigy
  • money burns a hole in one's pocket
  • money to burn
  • slow burn

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.