af·​ter·​burn·​er ˈaf-tər-ˌbər-nər How to pronounce afterburner (audio)
: 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
: 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 the back, enthusiasts may notice that the exhaust setup has been redesigned to resemble the spy plane’s afterburners. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 21 Aug. 2023 During the intercepts last week, Russian aircraft dropped multiple parachute flares in front of the drones, forcing the drones to conduct evasive maneuvers, and in another instance, a Russian jet engaged its afterburner after pulling in front of the drone. Eleanor Watson, CBS News, 14 July 2023 It was powered by four turbojet engines with afterburners that enabled it to reach speeds of up to Mach 2.04 at an altitude of 18,300 meters and could carry up to 128 passengers. Sascha Brodsky, Popular Mechanics, 13 July 2023 To highlight that behavior, the U.S. military declassified two videos that showed Russian fighter jets dropping parachute flares in front of the drones and one of the jets engaging its afterburners, all actions that led the drones to have to take evasive maneuvers. Luis Martinez, ABC News, 9 July 2023 That video also showed a Russian jet engaging its afterburner by the drone a move that affected the drone's flight path. Luis Martinez, ABC News, 6 July 2023 The Symphony architecture includes a two-spool, medium-bypass turbofan engine with no afterburner. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 26 June 2023 The firm, comprised of aerospace experts from five European countries, developed the afterburner in house and paired it with a conventional jet turbine powered by Jet A fuel. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 1 June 2023 With four jet engines and afterburners, the plane could fly at twice the speed of sound and cruised at close to 60,000 feet, far above other airliners. Ben Finley,, 5 June 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of afterburner was in 1947

Dictionary Entries Near afterburner

Cite this Entry

“Afterburner.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


af·​ter·​burn·​er -ˌbər-nər How to pronounce afterburner (audio)
: a burner attached to the tail pipe of a turbojet engine for forcing fuel into the hot exhaust gases and burning it to provide extra forward push

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