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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Widespread emotional burnout, brought on by overwork and exacerbated by the pandemic, has forced employers to accept that mental health cannot be ignored in the workplace. Catherine Wang, Forbes, 4 May 2022 In 2021, three singers — Smith, her countrywoman Nao and the Nigerian singer Tems — captured this sense of endemic, all-encompassing burnout. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2022 Clinicians have felt overburdened and undersupported in recent years, even more so during the pandemic, and this has had a damaging impact on their mental health — leading to burnout, anxiety, and depression. Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu, STAT, 10 Mar. 2022 Over the last year, millions of workers have quit their jobs because of burnout, bad hours and a desire for more flexibility. Te-ping Chen, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2022 Surveys have shown soaring levels of burnout, anxiety, and dissatisfaction among workers. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, 3 Mar. 2022 One of my areas of academic interest is physician burnout and mental health -- a problem that was widely regarded as a public health crisis before the pandemic even began. Jillian Horton, CNN, 28 Jan. 2022 Timeline Recovery from anything—injury, illness, burnout, or another major life event—rarely fits neatly into a racing schedule. Molly Hanson, Outside Online, 28 Jan. 2022 Kona bills itself as giving employees and managers a way to better communicate about moral, burnout, and mental health. Kylie Logan, Fortune, 20 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the years since, the original game’s update schedule slowed to a crawl, and additions grew insubstantial, leading many players to burn out or move on. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 The overwork and staffing shortages of the pandemic have affected veterinarians as much as other doctors and nurses, and dealing with the constant moral dilemmas and emotional output was driving many to burn out even before 2020. Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 Now entering his 23rd year in the league, Brady is relishing every last ounce of what his mind and body will give him — a determined star not ready to burn out. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, 4 Apr. 2022 Businesses are still contending with this problem as burn out and employee turnover are increasing. Daniel Newman, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 People burn out because their employers have not successfully managed chronic job stressors. Christina Maslach, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2022 NFTs might burn out, the crypto-collectible equivalent of Beanie Babies. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 4 Feb. 2022 Some of this is hopefully passing: Surely the pandemic will burn out sooner or later, right? Joel Mathis, The Week, 24 Jan. 2022 Parent burn out Here’s a staggering, if totally believable, statistic: about a quarter of working parents in the U.S. are suffering from signs of serious burnout, according to a report from Great Place to Work. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, 3 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of burnout was in 1710

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burn out

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Burnout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burnout. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for burnout


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


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