af·​ter·​burn·​er | \ ˈaf-tər-ˌbər-nər How to pronounce afterburner (audio) \

Definition of afterburner

1 : a device incorporated into the tailpipe of a turbojet engine for injecting fuel into the hot exhaust gases and burning it to provide extra thrust
2 : a device for burning or catalytically destroying unburned or partially burned carbon compounds in exhaust (as from an automobile)

Examples of afterburner in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The online forum has given its engine an afterburner. John Dorfman, Forbes, "Should You Sell Short The Favorites On WallStreetBets?," 1 Mar. 2021 As Chinese engine technology improves, the supercruise-capable WS-15, which has supersonic performance without fuel-thirsty afterburners, could be the springboard for future TRCC engines. Popular Science, "China’s opening a factory to build engines for hypersonic missiles and spaceplanes," 2 May 2018 Note the Su-27’s engines become white-hot as the Russian pilot hits the afterburners. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Accuses Russian Fighter of 'Unsafe Intercept' Over Black Sea," 5 Nov. 2018 Once Odell Beckham switched on the afterburners and jetted away from the Jets for the longest touchdown of his career, the Browns put a disappointing loss and an emotional week behind them. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Browns better under bright lights, but many problems remain," 17 Sep. 2019 Against Pittsburgh, Collins turned on the afterburners to cut down James Conner just short of the goal line and preserve the shutout., "“He leaves for a couple years, comes back, and it’s the same Jamie,” safety Devin McCourty said. “We didn’t lose sync with him.”," 3 Oct. 2019 Some of the pilots dive right at the start of the gorge, afterburners blazing. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column One: In Death Valley’s ‘Star Wars Canyon,’ fighter jet aficionados have a good feeling," 7 May 2019 Then the Sparks turned on the afterburners, with Riquana Williams nailing a buzzer-beating three to extend their lead to nine entering the final quarter. Kellen Becoats,, "Dearica Hamby’s Winner Caps Off Thriller, Sparks Temper Storm as Semifinals Approach," 16 Sep. 2019 To turn on the afterburners on offense and blow by Army on Saturday at Michigan Stadium. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's offense regressed against Army — plain and simple," 7 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'afterburner.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of afterburner

1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for afterburner

afterburning "burning of combustible gases after they have left the engine" (from after- + burning, gerund of burn entry 1) + -er entry 2

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The first known use of afterburner was in 1947

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Cite this Entry

“Afterburner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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