af·​ter·​burn·​er | \ -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 use of afterburners to harass the American aircrew marks an escalation over previous incidents over the Baltic and Black Seas. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.S. Accuses Russian Fighter of 'Unsafe Intercept' Over Black Sea," 5 Nov. 2018 But at speeds greater than Mach 2.2, six bypass tubes around the engine open and move air directly from the fourth stage of the compressor to the afterburner. Erik Schechter, Popular Mechanics, "What Made the SR-71 Blackbird Such a Badass Plane," 28 Apr. 2015 Afterwards, the air is mixed with fuel in the burners, with more fuel combined to the exhaust at the afterburner stage. Erik Schechter, Popular Mechanics, "What Made the SR-71 Blackbird Such a Badass Plane," 28 Apr. 2015 James turned on the afterburners from about three-quarters court and somehow smacked this shot away without fouling the vet, keeping the game deadlocked at 89 apiece. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "The Block and The Crotch Punch: The 9 most memorable Cavaliers-Warriors moments," 31 May 2018 In footage released late Thursday, J-15 fighter jets were shown taking off and landing in the darkness, their afterburners glowing. Fox News, "China aircraft carrier pilots complete first night missions," 25 May 2018 Indeed, its characteristics including the ability to cruise at Mach 1.5 without afterburners, a high degree of stealth, and advanced weapons and avionics went on to define the entire category. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "At 20 Years Old, the F-22 is Still King of the Skies," 7 Sep. 2017 The Hawkeyes are capable of grinding Penn State into a tense, low-scoring affair, but the Nittany Lions’ offense will turn the afterburners on in the fourth quarter. The Si Staff,, "Week 4 College Football Picks: Will Any Top-10 Teams Fall?," 21 Sep. 2017 Strong-armed, accurate and blessed with an afterburner-like burst, Maiava is a transcendent talent working at a distinct disadvantage at Kahuku, which has no history of grooming great passers. Austin Murphy,, "It's an Island Ting: Kahuku High in Oahu Churns Out NFL Studs Like Schools in Florida and Texas," 25 Oct. 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about afterburner

Statistics for afterburner

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for afterburner

The first known use of afterburner was in 1947

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on afterburner Encyclopedia article about afterburner

Comments on afterburner

What made you want to look up afterburner? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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