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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But if that’s not happening at your job, workers can take their own preventive measures to avoid burnout. Marcia Heroux Pounds, The Seattle Times, "Burning out? Try to disconnect from work," 26 Mar. 2019 Little by little, Purcell—treading the blurred line between burnout and breakdown—perceives these sickening new crimes as the fruit of diseased notions and lingering hatreds from earlier decades and even centuries. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Tales of Three Blood-Soaked Cities," 30 Nov. 2018 That doesn’t mean that lack of compassion causes burnout. Stacey Burling, Philly.com, "Cooper doctors study 'compassion crisis' in health care," 15 Mar. 2018 According to Bachelor fashion fan accounts, Elyse was wearing Vici’s Antonia Maxi dress, which features a velvet-burnout floral print over a sheer full skirt. Glamour, "A Look Back at the Most Dramatic Fashion From The Bachelor Season 23," 12 Mar. 2019 Like any other sick time, a mental-health day can cover a range of problems, from simple fatigue or burnout to more serious problems like chronic depression or an anxiety disorder. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "The Benefits (and Risks) of the Mental-Health Day," 17 Dec. 2018 Plowing through it all might feel doable in the short term, but too much time without a break can lead to caregiver burnout, depression and health problems. sandiegouniontribune.com, "A caregiver’s guide to creating a getaway plan," 9 May 2018 Engaging Sport loosens up the stability-control program and allows for smoky burnouts. Ben Stewart, Popular Mechanics, "8 Cool Things About the Can-Am Ryker," 13 Nov. 2018 Avoiding burnout by letting go of expectations is an important lesson for caregivers. Veronica Mitchell, sandiegouniontribune.com, "'Ask Veronica — Let's talk caregiving'," 2 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Denise Truscello Dion's incomparable voice and record-breaking career has a flame that will not burn out. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Céline Dion Is L'Oréal’s Newest Global Spokesperson," 2 Apr. 2019 Police saw evidence that several fires had been lit at the home, but the fires burned out on their own, the official said. Ben Thompson, BostonGlobe.com, "Woman and three children found dead in West Brookfield home," 1 Mar. 2018 Red hot nickel balls hugging jawbreakers to death, motorcycles burning out on iPhones, and everything in between. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Molten Copper and Antifreeze Make a Neon Nightmare Stew," 30 Dec. 2015 But the Chicago Police Department said the officers were not working overtime, and were not overworked or burned out. Chris Irvine, Fox News, "Chicago police chief blames city violence on lenient judges and prosecutors," 21 Aug. 2018 Scott Olson/Getty Images We were also reminded this year that after storms pass and flames burn out, people can continue suffering from a disaster. Umair Irfan, Vox, "What we learned from the disasters that hammered the US in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 There is a little concern within the camp that his squad could burn out quickly and that could affect their chances deeper into the tournament. SI.com, "Belgium Boss Roberto Martinez Cancels Training For Fear of Overexerting Team Too Early," 20 June 2018 For a time, a long-running romance had the drummer in Naples, Fla., but that flame burned out and Klauber never married. Stu Bykofsky, Philly.com, "Philly drummer wrote his own ticket to success | Stu Bykofsky," 22 May 2018 Bjorn Borg was just as overwhelming at his peak but did not have Nadal’s staying power, burning out in his mid-20s. New York Times, "Rafael Nadal Extends His Reign With an 11th French Open Title," 10 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of burnout


1940, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1710, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about burnout

Dictionary Entries near burnout

burn off

burn oneself



burn out


burn rate

Statistics for burnout

Last Updated

31 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for burnout

The first known use of burnout was in 1710

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!