burn·​out | \ ˈbərn-ˌau̇t How to pronounce burnout (audio) \

Definition of burnout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the cessation of operation usually of a jet or rocket engine also : the point at which burnout occurs
2a : exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration
b : a person suffering from burnout
3 : a person showing the effects of drug abuse

burn out

burned out or burnt out; burning out; burns out

Definition of burn out (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to drive out or destroy the property of by fire
2 : to cause to fail, wear out, or become exhausted especially from overwork or overuse

intransitive verb

: to suffer burnout

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Examples of burnout in a Sentence

Noun Teaching can be very stressful, and many teachers eventually suffer burnout. the burnout rate among teachers a novel about academic burnouts Verb working 12-hour days at that job just burned me out
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This cycle of burnout to lesson and revisioning happened again when SLMDances produced BodyBusiness and received our first major grant award. Sydnie L. Mosley, Essence, "How To Be A Black Choreographer And Not Die," 1 July 2020 Be sure to get enough rest to prevent burnout or illness due to stress from either relationships or work situations. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 27 June 2020 But be careful of over-scheduling digital dates, since this can lead to burnout. Rebecca Renner, National Geographic, "Why some people can't resist crowds despite the pandemic," 24 June 2020 Some of the biggest contributors to burnout is a lack of control. Cnn Staff, CNN, "Work-From-Home Burnout: Dr. Sanjay Gupta's coronavirus podcast for June 23," 23 June 2020 This kind of burnout has another name: white fatigue, according to Joseph Flynn, PhD, the associate director for academic affairs at the Center for Black Studies at Northern Illinois University. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Why It’s So Critical To Talk To Your Family About Race," 23 June 2020 Directed by Judd Apatow and inspired by Pete Davidson's life, the new film (available now on VOD) follows twentysomething burnout Scott (Davidson), who has never quite been able to cope with the loss of his firefighter father as a child. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Former firefighter Steve Buscemi is 'so proud' of The King of Staten Island," 13 June 2020 Health officials are not only facing threats, but also severe burnout, according to DeBurgh. Cheri Mossburg, Theresa Waldrop And Naomi Thomas, CNN, "Some public health officials are resigning amid threats during the Covid-19 pandemic," 22 June 2020 Firefighters continued burnout operations south of Oracle Saturday morning. Helena Wegner, azcentral, "Bush Fire grows another 23,000 acres overnight with 7% containment," 20 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That 60% is also the threshold past which new introductions of the virus — say, an infected passenger disembarking from a cruise ship into a healthy port with herd immunity — will quickly burn out. Quanta Magazine, "The Tricky Math of Herd Immunity for COVID-19," 30 June 2020 At any other moment in the N.F.L.’s history, that’s where things might have ended, with the owners hoping that the demands and the energy generated by the protests would burn out before the season began. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "The N.F.L.’s Change of Tone, and the Limits of Merely Listening," 9 June 2020 In one survey of more than 4,500 developers and tech workers, for example, 66% of remote employees reported feeling burnt out. Jason Wingard, Quartz at Work, "The “future of work” is here, thanks to Covid-19," 22 May 2020 Beyond the risk of workers burning out, millions of people staying at home is a strain on the economy. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "The economy can't recover until parents have child care again," 2 May 2020 The national response was widely viewed as inadequate, with little funding, scattered ownership and researchers burning out. Washington Post, "For New Zealand's Maoris, even touching this sacred tree is taboo. They let scientists climb to help save it.," 12 Jan. 2020 Doctors who found electronic health record systems particularly frustrating were also the most likely to report feeling burned out. Amanda Blanco, courant.com, "Yale study links electronic health record systems to physician burnout, medical errors," 14 Nov. 2019 When Seppala's wife dies shortly thereafter, her demise is signified in hoary fashion by a shot of a light bulb burning out. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Great Alaskan Race': Film Review," 24 Oct. 2019 Separation often inspires intimacy, and since there is no physical escape to work, the gym or to hangout with good friends, partners are figuring out how to keep that sense of novelty in their relationship without getting burned out. Keyaira Kelly, Essence, "Come Through Romance! How These Cute Couples Are Making Date Night Magic In Their Living Rooms," 7 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burnout.' 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 burnout


1940, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1710, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for burnout

Time Traveler

The first known use of burnout was in 1710

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Statistics for burnout

Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Burnout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burnout. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for burnout


How to pronounce burn out (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of burnout

: the condition of someone who has become very physically and emotionally tired after doing a difficult job for a long time
: a person who suffers burnout
: the time when a jet or rocket engine stops working because there is no more fuel available


burn·​out | \ ˈbərn-ˌau̇t How to pronounce burnout (audio) \

Medical Definition of burnout

1a : exhaustion of physical or emotional strength usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration
b : a person affected with burnout
2 : a person showing the effects of drug abuse

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burnout

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