af·​ter·​burn ˈaf-tər-ˌbərn How to pronounce afterburn (audio)
: a hot, spicy, or burning sensation that remains in the mouth after consumption of a food or beverage
And at 13.5 percent alcohol, it leaves a noticeable afterburn on the palate.Howard G. Goldberg
: a period of lingering anger, fear, bitterness, etc., that follows a painful or traumatic event
… the afterburn of a hateful divorce.Gillian Flynn
: the consumption of calories by the body in the period following exercise
Is the afterburn real? Whether the metabolism speeds up for hours after exercise is an old question, and studies over the years have produced mixed results.News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Examples of afterburn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hence, perhaps, its bewildering lack of afterburn. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 1 Oct. 2021 Research has shown that the afterburn effects are in fact negligible and not as beneficial as advertised, according to Otey. Jeff Tomko, Men's Health, 12 July 2022 Richard understands how Sixties idealism wound up being a kind of lingering afterburn that made everybody itchy and unhappy. Kyle Smith, National Review, 7 Apr. 2021 Except, of course, for the people who don't have the luxury of not still smelling the afterburn in the air. Scarier than the Chart is the Thing. Caissie St. Onge,, 20 Aug. 2020 Similarly, while higher-intensity workouts might result in a slight post-workout afterburn (research conflicts on this issue), those short-term results don’t affect what your metabolism will be the following day. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2020 Still, research shows that high-intensity training produces a bigger afterburn effect than steady-state training does. Lauren Bedosky, SELF, 16 Dec. 2017 Bueno’s house special is a chicken breast in her house recipe mole, brown and sweet but with a notable afterburn. Bud Kennedy,, 5 July 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'afterburn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


after- + burn entry 2

First Known Use

1963, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of afterburn was in 1963

Dictionary Entries Near afterburn

Cite this Entry

“Afterburn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!