burn·out | \ˈbərn-ˌau̇t \

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


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

The toddler already has a fun post-race celebration move nailed down and practices his burnout to go with it. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Kyle Busch's son got a toddler-sized replica of his dad's race car for 3rd birthday," 16 May 2018 Even top commanders concede that counter-narcotics work is not what troops are principally trained to do, and that the arduous mission is causing burnout. Steve Fisher, latimes.com, "Mexico sent in the army to fight the drug war. Many question the toll on society and the army itself," 18 June 2018 Starting when she was offered a record deal at 16 years old, Geiger experienced success, acclaim, anxiety, burnout, and disillusionment before most people finish a college. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Shawn Mendes Shows What It Means To Be A True Ally," 8 July 2018 The gaps leave nurses to work an exorbitant amount of overtime, which can lead to mistakes and burnout. Martha Bellisle, The Seattle Times, "With patients at risk, Western State Hospital is ‘like going into hell’," 7 July 2018 There isn’t a lot of systematic research linking burnout among physicians to the health of their patients. Timothy J. Hoff, STAT, "Medical training programs need to care about physician burnout. Should the rest of us?," 21 June 2018 Another factor leading to burnout is the type of insurance coverage that patients have. Mckenna Moore, Fortune, "These Cities Are Most Likely To Face an OB-GYN Shortage By 2020," 27 June 2018 Pastrana then did some burnouts to celebrate the feat. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, "Travis Pastrana nails 3 iconic Evel Knievel stunts in tribute show in Las Vegas," 8 July 2018 Billboard spoke with Tedder after his presentation about the importance of licensing, surviving burnout, his new NBC fall series and schooling Bono. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "Ryan Tedder on OneRepublic's 'Connection' With Jeep, Playing Corporate Gigs & Why He Related to Anthony Bourdain," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But bands like that tend to burn out or implode, and the Icarus Line did both. August Brown, latimes.com, "Joe Cardamone of the Icarus Line finds faith in music after a string of tragedies," 20 June 2018 Fast forward seven months and Towley's spark has yet to burn out. Samantha Sasso, refinery29.com, "The Inspiring Reason You'll Always See Mette Towley's Freckles," 8 June 2018 The texts came hours before authorities discovered the bodies of Kenneth and Janet Lindquist in their burned out Kenwood Estates home on Dec. 20. Nicholas Rondinone, courant.com, "Records Reveal Brutal Details, Motive In Slaying Of Griswold Couple, Son," 29 May 2018 Kenneth and Janet Lindquist were found in the wreckage of the burned out home at 70 Kenwood Estates in Griswold. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "Hartford Woman Arrested On Murder, Arson Charges In Three Deaths Tied To Griswold Fire," 13 May 2018 With the fire still burning out of control Dec. 6, Marcario was working from her home in Montecito, 30 minutes north of headquarters. Author: David Gelles, Anchorage Daily News, "Patagonia v. Trump: Inside a battle over public lands," 6 May 2018 With the fire still burning out of control on Dec. 6, Ms. Marcario was working from her home in Montecito, 30 minutes north of headquarters. David Gelles, New York Times, "Patagonia v. Trump," 5 May 2018 If you're burnt out of crossovers, the coupe is the antidote. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "2018 Audi A5 Coupe is a good getaway car," 20 June 2017 What’s more, there is evidence some of those diagnosed as depressed are, at baseline, simply burned out. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burnout reflects a conflict between our inner calling and what we have to do," 13 July 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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Statistics for burnout

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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 \

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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Comments on burnout

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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