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

Where the ob-gyns are A few key factors are driving the decline: first, burnout. Barbara Brody, Glamour, "The Ob-Gyn Shortage Is Real—And It Might Impact Your Care," 14 Nov. 2018 Potential obstacles to approval The greatest obstacles could be a hangover from the head-tax debacle and potential burnout among voters who agreed to double the city’s transportation and housing levies in 2015 and 2016. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle property-tax levy to test voters’ generosity toward education," 15 Oct. 2018 My burnout had crept up on me quietly and stealthily. Annabelle Dunne, Vogue, "I Took 30 Days Off From My Job, Family, and Cell Phone—Here’s What Happened," 17 June 2018 Jeff Siner A year ago, Dillon celebrated winning the Coca-Cola 600 by climbing into that country Lamborghini and doing his victory burnout inside the barn. Théoden Janes, charlotteobserver, "You have to see NASCAR star Austin Dillon’s home to believe it. (Hint: It’s a barn.) | Charlotte Observer," 23 May 2018 Longtime coach Ange Postecoglou resigned in November 2017, citing burnout, and Bert von Marwijk took over. Michelle Kaufman, miamiherald, "Peru back after 36 years and is the feel-good team, but France is the team to beat | Miami Herald," 18 May 2018 After 9/11, though, Michael sensed emotional burnout surrounding him at his lower Manhattan workplace, while security measures lengthened his commute from Queens and devoured his time with the children. Jennifer Peltz, Fox News, "'Wake-up call': 9/11 prompted some to move away to new lives," 10 Sep. 2018 This workout is broken up into four sections: a warm-up, a circuit, a burnout ladder, and a cool-down. Amy Marturana, SELF, "20-Minute No-Equipment Total-Body Workout You Can Do Anywhere," 10 Aug. 2018 And the workplace isn’t the only setting where burnout emerges. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burnout reflects a conflict between our inner calling and what we have to do," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Of course, even veteran home cooks like Kinnaird sometimes get burnt out. Marygrace Taylor, Good Housekeeping, "The Simple Diet Change That Helped One Woman Get Her Diabetes Under Control," 15 Oct. 2018 When the floodwaters have receded and fires have burned out, many U.S. homeowners are hit with another disaster: inadequate insurance. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, "What Does Your Homeowners Policy Cover in Disasters? Often, Not Enough," 2 Aug. 2018 After just a few months of dating and one collab together, Noah and Lil Xan's romance burned out quicker than a Labor Day BBQ. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan’s Crazy Drama," 20 Sep. 2018 Those whose are affluent often have a different kind of Christmas complaint; not deeply troubled or specially saddened by Christmas, but simply burned out, or turned off. Harper's BAZAAR, "How To Cope With Holiday Loneliness," 25 Dec. 2014 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

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

8 Dec 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

More from Merriam-Webster on burnout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burnout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burnout

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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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