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 The buzzy film — starring and co-written by Davidson and directed by Judd Apatow — centers on a burnout living with his mom (Marisa Tomei) on Staten Island. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, "King of Staten Island," 15 Jan. 2020 Lack of control, in any form, can set you up for burnout. Ginny Graves, Health.com, "What Is Burnout? How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed at Work," 10 Oct. 2019 While the new definition only begins to explain the complex condition, health experts are hopeful that this acknowledgement will help bring more awareness to the issue, as well as legitimize the feelings of those who suffer from burnout. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Workplace Burnout Is Officially an “Occupational Phenomenon”—Here’s What You Can Do About It," 29 May 2019 Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister, has been talking seriously about moving to a four-day week, with the aims of tackling unemployment rates, burnout, and fatigue. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "One passionate CEO on deciding to give her staff a day off every single week," 14 Oct. 2019 Some of the programs on offer are quite rigorous, including a fasting retreat and detox according to the principle of F.X. Mayr, but there are also gentler programs focused on better sleep and preventing burnout. Ann Abel, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Spas in the U.S. & Around the World: 2019 Readers' Choice Awards," 7 Oct. 2019 As stated earlier, biophilic design in the office can help lower employee’s stress levels, reduce mental fatigue and burnout, and promote a healthy environment. Michelle Beganskas, Quartz, "The productivity science behind biophilia is about much more than plants," 3 Dec. 2019 That can lead to burnout, which is becoming such a concern that the World Health Organization is developing guidelines on mental well-being in the workplace. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 15 Nov. 2019 This is a prominent contributor to burnout, which in turn is a prominent contributor to medical error. Danielle Ofri, STAT, "The EMR has changed the doctor-patient duet into a ménage-à-trois," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For example, squeezing in 10 minutes of core work and exercise every day is better than trying to do two hours a day and burning out after a week. Stefanie Gordon, Woman's Day, "How To Lose Belly Fat Without Starving Yourself Or Doing Crunches," 15 Jan. 2020 Her remains were found scattered around her burned out rental car in Grand Bay on March 28. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "These tragic crimes horrified Alabama in 2019," 30 Dec. 2019 On block after block, houses stand abandoned and burned out. Tyrone Beason, Los Angeles Times, "‘We’re old news, but we’re still living this’ — mistrust still flows in Flint," 30 July 2019 Since Cleveland leads the best-of-5 series 2-0, the Crunch’s once-bright season is all but burned out. Lindsay Kramer | Lkramer@syracuse.com, cleveland, "Crunch pushed to the brink: ‘We’ve got to figure something out’," 20 Apr. 2019 Even so, non-removable bulbs can eventually burn out or become damaged and take out the whole strand. David Kender, USA TODAY, "Trouble with your Christmas lights? Here's what to do," 14 Dec. 2019 So are the Five Stars in fact a cluster of meteors, doomed to burn out in the political atmosphere? The Economist, "The decline of the Five Star empire," 5 Dec. 2019 Millennial workers are more likely than older generations to report being burned out at work, according to a 2018 Gallup study. Washington Post, "Millennial Money: Sneaky ways burnout hurts your bottom line," 25 Sep. 2019 One by one, the Panasonic screens started to burn out. Vince Guerrieri, Popular Mechanics, "The Secret Tech Problem at Modern Art Museums," 24 June 2019

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

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Burnout.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burnout. Accessed 26 January 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

More from Merriam-Webster on burnout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burnout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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 express in a more acceptable way

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