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See more synonyms for burnout on Thesaurus.com
  1. a fire that is totally destructive of something.
  2. Also burn-out. fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity.
  3. 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.
  4. Electricity. the breakdown of a lamp, motor, or other electrical device due to the heat created by the current flowing through it.
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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. 2018

Related Words for burnout

junkie, addict, user, fatigue, weariness, weakness, lethargy, collapse, tiredness, lassitude, debility, debilitation, consumption, feebleness, expenditure, prostration, enervation, heaviness, listlessness, languor

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper