a fire that is totally destructive of something.
Also burn-out. fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity.
  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

Examples from the Web for burnout

Contemporary Examples of burnout

Historical Examples of burnout

  • Burnout of the second stage came suddenly, and we heaved slightly against our belts as the springs in our seats pushed back out.

  • It would take practically absolute simultaneity to overload to the point of burnout to those Strett generators.

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

Word Origin and History for burnout

also burn-out, "drug user," by 1972, slang, from the verbal phrase, from burn (v.) + out (adv.). Meaning "mental exhaustion from continuous effort" is from 1975.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper