to undergo rapid combustion or consume fuel in such a way as to give off heat, gases, and, usually, light; be on fire:
The fire burned in the grate.
(of a fireplace, furnace, etc.) to contain a fire.
to feel heat or a physiologically similar sensation; feel pain from or as if from a fire:
The wound burned and throbbed.
to give off light or to glow brightly:
The lights in the house burned all night.
to give off heat or be hot:
The pavement burned in the noon sun.
to produce pain or a stinging sensation similar to that of fire; cause to smart:
The whiskey burned in his throat.
Games. to be extremely close to finding a concealed object or guessing an answer.
to feel extreme anger:
When she said I was rude, I really burned.
to feel strong emotion or passion:
He burned with desire.
to undergo combustion, either fast or slow; oxidize.
to undergo fission or fusion.
to become charred or overcooked by heat:
The steak burned around the edges.
to receive a sunburn:
She burns easily and has to stay in the shade.
to be damned:
You may burn for that sin.
Slang. to die in an electric chair:
The murderer was sentenced to burn.
to be engraved by or as if by burning:
His words burned into her heart.
to cause to undergo combustion or be consumed partly or wholly by fire.
to use as fuel or as a source of light:
He burned coal to heat the house.
to cause to feel the sensation of heat.
to overcook or char:
I almost burned the roast.
to injure, endanger, or damage with or as if with fire:
Look out, you’ll burn yourself!
to execute by burning:
The heretic was burned at the stake.
to subject to fire or treat with heat as a process of manufacturing.
to produce with or as if with fire:
She burned a hole in her dress.
to cause sharp pain or a stinging sensation:
The iodine burned his cut.
to consume rapidly, especially to squander:
He burned energy as if he never heard of resting.
Slang. to suffer losses or be disillusioned in business or social relationships:
She was burned by that phony stock deal.
Slang. to cheat or rob.
Digital Technology. to copy or write data to (an optical disk):
She burned a CD of their favorite songs.
Compare rip1 (def 4).
Chemistry. to cause to undergo combustion; oxidize.
to damage through excessive friction, as in grinding or machining; scorch.
Metallurgy. to oxidize (a steel ingot), as with a flame.
British. to scald (a wine, especially sherry) in an iron container over a fire.
Cards. to put (a played or rejected card) face up at the bottom of the pack.
Slang. to disclose the identity of (an undercover agent, law officer, etc.):
to burn a narcotics detective.
a burned place or area:
a burn where fire had ripped through the forest.
Pathology. an injury usually caused by heat but also by abnormal cold, chemicals, poison gas, electricity, or lightning, and characterized by a painful reddening and swelling of the epidermis (first-degree burn) damage extending into the dermis, usually with blistering (second-degree burn) or destruction of the epidermis and dermis extending into the deeper tissue with loss of pain receptors (third-degree burn)
the process or an instance of burning or baking, as in brickmaking.
a forest or brush fire.
the firing of a rocket engine.
a burning sensation felt in the muscles during intense exercise (usually preceded by the):
Repeat the sit-ups till you feel the burn in your lower abs.
Slang. a swindle.
burn down, to burn to the ground:
That barn was struck by lightning and burned down.
burn in, Photography. (in printing) to expose (one part of an image) to more light by masking the other parts in order to darken and give greater detail to the unmasked area.
Also, print in.
Compare dodge (def 2).
burn off, (of morning mist) to be dissipated by the warmth of the rising sun.
burn on, to weld lead with lead.
burn one up, Informal. to incite to anger:
That attitude burns me up.
to cease functioning because something has been exhausted or burned up, as fuel or a filament:
Our light bulbs burned out.
to deprive of a place to live, work, etc., by reason of fire:
They were burned out and had to live with relatives.
to wear out; exhaust; be worn out; become exhausted.
to burn completely or utterly:
The papers burned up in a minute.
Informal. to become angry:
He burns up at the mention of her name.
burn one’s bridges (behind one). bridge1 (def 26).
burn oneself out, to exhaust one’s energy, ideas, etc., through overwork or intemperance:
They feared that he would burn himself out or break down.
burn the midnight oil, to work, study,etc., until late at night:
to burn the midnight oil before final exams.
burn the / one’s candle at both ends, to be excessively active or immoderate, as by leading an active social life by night and a busy work life by day:
You can’t burn the candle at both ends and hold onto a job.
the middle of the night; twelve o’clock at night.
of or relating to midnight.
resembling midnight, as in darkness.
burn the midnight oil, to study or work far into the night:
After months of burning the midnight oil, he really needed a vacation.
verb burns, burning, burnt, burned
to undergo or cause to undergo combustion
to destroy or be destroyed by fire
(transitive) to damage, injure, or mark by heat: he burnt his hand, she was burnt by the sun
to die or put to death by fire: to burn at the stake
(intransitive) to be or feel hot: my forehead burns
to smart or cause to smart: brandy burns one’s throat
(intransitive) to feel strong emotion, esp anger or passion
(transitive) to use for the purposes of light, heat, or power: to burn coal
(transitive) to form by or as if by fire: to burn a hole
to char or become charred: the potatoes are burning in the saucepan
(transitive) to brand or cauterize
(transitive) to cut (metal) with an oxygen-rich flame
to produce by or subject to heat as part of a process: to burn charcoal
(transitive) to copy information onto (a CD-ROM)
(astronomy) to convert (a lighter element) to a heavier one by nuclear fusion in a star: to burn hydrogen
(cards, mainly Brit) to discard or exchange (one or more useless cards)
(transitive; usually passive) (informal) to cheat, esp financially
(slang, mainly US) to electrocute or be electrocuted
(transitive) (Austral, slang) to drive fast (esp in the phrase go for a burn)
burn one’s bridges, burn one’s boats, to commit oneself to a particular course of action with no possibility of turning back
burn the candle at both ends, See candle (sense 3)
burn one’s fingers, to suffer from having meddled or been rash
an injury caused by exposure to heat, electrical, chemical, or radioactive agents. Burns are classified according to the depth of tissue affected: first-degree burn: skin surface painful and red; second-degree burn: blisters appear on the skin; third-degree burn: destruction of both epidermis and dermis
a mark, e.g. on wood, caused by burning
a controlled use of rocket propellant, esp for a course correction
a hot painful sensation in a muscle, experienced during vigorous exercise: go for the burn!
(Austral & NZ) a controlled fire to clear an area of scrub
(slang) tobacco or a cigarette
(Scot & Northern English) a small stream; brook
the middle of the night; 12 o’clock at night
(as modifier): the midnight hour
burn the midnight oil, to work or study late into the night
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.
Becoming angry: He didn’t blow up, just did a slow burn (1930s+)
Cheat or swindle: It was a burn, but it didn’t start out to be
: I didn’t mean it as a burn (mid-1890s+)
To cook or heat food: Let’s burn a couple of hot dogs (1950s+)
To put or be put to death in the electric chair; fry (1925+)
To kill; assassinate (1930s+)
To become angry; burn up: I burned but went on singing (1930s+)
To anger; infuriate; PISS someone OFF: You must have done something to burn him (1935+)
To cheat; swindle; victimize; rob; rip off: If you go along with that guy you’ll get burned (late 1600s+)
To assault or fight a rival gang or gang member (1950s+ Street gang)
To harass a person relentlessly; hound: I’ll burn you right off the force (1950s+)
To insult; put down •This seems to be a spontaneous verb form that coincides with the much older noun: I burned this chick. ”Whereja get those jeans, like Sears or something?”/ The Administration only turned to her after it felt burned by two ”Eastern elitists” (1970s+ Teenagers & students)
To infect or become infected with a venereal disease (1500s+)
To pass; spend; waste; kill: I’ll start a conversation just to burn time/ if it burns tomorrow afternoon
To move very rapidly; speed; barrel: He wasn’t just running, he was burning (1880s+)
To perform, esp to improvise, superbly; excel; Be Hot: The cat was getting down and burning (1950s+ Jazz musicians)
To borrow; beg (1970s+)
To throw something, esp a baseball, very fast: He burned the fastball right down the middle (1940s+)
To outdo; outshine in competition: Tony has burned the guy/ the way Dex burned Eddie on that last number
To make a xerographic copy: Will you burn me ten copies of this? (1980s+ Army)
To expose as an informer: Do you really want to spend valuable man-hours trying to find out who burned him? (1950s+ Police)
burn at the stake
burn in effigy
burn one’s bridges
burn one’s fingers
burn oneself out
burn someone up
burn the candle at both ends
burn the midnight oil
burn to a cinder
Also, burn to a crisp. Destroy by fire; overcook. For example, If I stay in the sun too long, I’ll be burnt to a cinder, or He’s an awful cook—dinner was burnt to a crisp. Although both expressions can be used literally, they also function as hyperbole, as in the examples.
to undergo rapid combustion or consume fuel in such a way as to give off heat, gases, and, usually, light; be on fire: The fire burned in the grate. (of a fireplace, furnace, etc.) to contain a fire. to feel heat or a physiologically similar sensation; feel pain from or as if from a fire: […]
burn your bridges behind you
burn-in period 1. A factory soak test intended to increase the chance that components that fail early due to infant mortality will fail before the system leaves the factory. 2. When one is so intensely involved in a new project that one forgets basic needs such as food, drink and sleep. Excessive burn-in can lead […]