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 In full afterburner, the Eagles quickly exhausted their fuel and were forced to leave. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, 11 July 2021 The Thunderbirds dazzled the crowd with tight formations and adrenaline-inducing afterburner passes. Joshua Gunter, cleveland, 6 Sep. 2021 Diving in afterburner, North and his wingman scooted south at top speed. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, 11 July 2021 While the other two F-16s scrambled to the area from the tanker, Nordo lit his afterburner, turning his jet and his wingman north to trap the MiG south of them in the no-fly zone. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, 11 July 2021 The online forum has given its engine an afterburner. John Dorfman, Forbes, 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, 2 May 2018 Note the Su-27’s engines become white-hot as the Russian pilot hits the afterburners. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 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, 17 Sep. 2019 See More

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.

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

Learn More About afterburner

Time Traveler for afterburner

Time Traveler

The first known use of afterburner was in 1947

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near afterburner




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for afterburner

Cite this Entry

“Afterburner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on afterburner Encyclopedia article about afterburner


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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