burn out

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burn out (third-person singular simple present burns out, present participle burning out, simple past and past participle burned out or (mostly Commonwealth) burnt out)

  1. (transitive) To destroy by fire.
  2. (intransitive) To become extinguished due to lack of fuel.
    The candle finally burned out.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Chapter XVIII
      Mr. Mason, shivering as some one chanced to open the door, asked for more coal to be put on the fire, which had burnt out its flame, though its mass of cinder still shone hot and red. The footman who brought the coal, in going out, stopped near Mr. Eshton's chair, and said something to him in a low voice, of which I heard only the words, "old woman,"—"quite troublesome."
  3. (intransitive) To tire due to overwork; to overwork to their limit.
    After six months of twelve-hour workdays, most people just burn out and quit.
  4. (transitive) To cause (someone) to tire due to overwork; to cause (someone) to overwork to one's limit.
  5. (intransitive) (Of an automobile or its driver) To have one's tires skid against the ground; to peel off, peel out.
  6. (idiomatic) To make (someone) unavailable for work involving exposure to ionizing radiation by employing (the person) in such work until the person's accumulated exposure reaches the maximum permitted for an administrative period, typically a year.
    The repairs on this nuclear reactor have burned out every welder in the province.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


burn out (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) (of a person) The condition of tiredness due to overwork.