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

For Bea, this is essential for preventing burnout or compassion fatigue. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What 8 Psychologists Do to Get Through Their Crappiest Days," 21 Mar. 2019 Sadness, resentment and burnout aren’t going to be shamed or ridiculed away by the part of you acculturated to scoff at such pain. Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, "Feeling sad and resentful after move to a different country," 12 Apr. 2019 Splitting his year between the two disciplines helped stave off the overtraining and burnout that has plagued so many talented runners—a strategy that’s now employed by top competitors like Krupicka, Foote, and Rob Krar. Nick Heil, Outside Online, "Are Kilian Jornet's Speed Records Too Good to Be True?," 12 July 2018 The organization also visits labels and educates them on how to prevent and/or see the signs of addiction, mental health complications and burnout. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Great Escape Music Convention Puts Social Consciousness at the Forefront," 20 May 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Baseball history is riddled with meteors that streaked across the sky and burnt out. Larry Stone, The Seattle Times, "Historic or hysterical? Mariners’ magical start borders on the absurd, but oh what fun it is," 12 Apr. 2019 The Dolphins are giving veteran running back Frank Gore time off during these spring drills because there's no need to burn out a veteran running back now. Armando Salguero, miamiherald, "Ryan Tannehill 'back from the dead,' and it is awesome | Miami Herald," 23 May 2018 Managing problems at work that are stress inducing, like dealing with a difficult boss, feeling burned out or being generally unhappy in your current role, can affect your overall financial health. NBC News, "The best financial tips for millennials," 21 Feb. 2018 As anyone with a passing knowledge of astrophysics knows, this is all ending in the heat death of the universe--every star burning out until the universe is just an infinite dark space. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "What Will Happen in the Next 100 Trillion Years?," 12 Aug. 2017 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

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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Dictionary Entries near burnout

burn off

burn oneself



burn out


burn rate

Statistics for burnout

Last Updated

9 Jun 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

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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