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


Teaching can be very stressful, and many teachers eventually suffer burnout. the burnout rate among teachers a novel about academic burnouts


working 12-hour days at that job just burned me out
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Chronic stress will destroy your body like doing burnouts will destroy a rental car that someone else is paying for. Emily Guendelsberger, Vox, "I was a fast-food worker. Let me tell you about burnout.," 15 July 2019 Ninety-eight percent of veterinarians with psychological stress report depression, 88% report burnout and 83% report anxiety. oregonlive.com, "Oregon tackles the veterinary suicide crisis, starting with the stigma," 10 July 2019 Even senior leaders who theoretically love their jobs are by no means immune from the risks of burnout and general exhaustion. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Why it’s so dangerous when star employees check out," 2 July 2019 Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands for Fiat Chrysler, shows how to do a smoky burnout in a Dodge Demon. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Jeep brand gets new leader for key North American market," 27 June 2019 In an industry known for high burnout and turnover, many members of Patient First’s clinical staff have longevity — the firm has a few hundred people with more than 20 years there. Christopher Rowland, Washington Post, "Patient First Voted Best Workplace," 21 June 2019 In other villages, burnout and low pay, with some village police earning as little as $10 an hour, lead to constant turnover among law enforcement. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, "ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network," 16 May 2019 Honing in on one sport can lead not only to burnout, but to injuries from working the same muscles in the same way without enough rest. Alex Baker-whitcomb, WIRED, "A New and Terrifying Tick, a 3D-Printed Shoe Sole, and More News," 28 June 2019 Harrington said burnout was a big part of his decision to retire. Alex Miller, ExpressNews.com, "Texas State baseball coach Ty Harrington retires after 20 seasons," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But if Helmstetter isn’t yet tired of Hill Country’s barbecue, he’s burned out on politics in Washington. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "After confronting a diner in a MAGA hat, customer gets tossed from Hill Country Barbecue," 5 July 2019 Far fewer staff now report that they are burnt out. The Economist, "The front line of England’s NHS is being reinvented," 27 June 2019 In fact, patients treated by burned out intensive care physicians have higher mortality rates. Quartz at Work, "Young female doctors are at high risk for burnout and “self-care” is not the answer," 27 June 2019 Almost a third of San Francisco workers say they are severely burned out, according to a new study by global staffing firm Robert Half. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "Almost a third of San Francisco office workers say they’re severely burnt out — more than national average," 18 June 2019 Rare is the Trump Administration official who hasn’t burned out or been run out. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, "Is Sarah Huckabee Sanders the Future of the Republican Party?," 17 June 2019 Impatient brands constantly opt to toss one name for another, and this game of designer musical chairs has talent proclaiming they are burned out. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "The Calvin Klein brand hired big-name fashion designer Raf Simons to build relevancy. Now he’s out.," 27 Dec. 2018 The blaze that shut down Interstate 5 on Wednesday was still burning out of control, said Denise Yergenson, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation. Fox News, "California highway reopens after blaze forces 6-day closure," 10 Sep. 2018 Older workers are often branded as burned out and not technically savvy, says Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Older workers get flexible hours, work-at-home options to keep them from retirement," 21 May 2018

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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Learn More about burnout

Dictionary Entries near burnout

burn off

burn oneself



burn out


burn rate

Statistics for burnout

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for burnout

The first known use of burnout was in 1710

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More Definitions for burnout



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

More from Merriam-Webster on burnout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burnout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burnout

Comments on burnout

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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