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 Konrath said there is sizable burnout among Millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1996. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Baby Boomers, Millennials and Gen Z: The fight for empathy during coronavirus pandemic," 27 Mar. 2020 Some retailers have reduced store hours in an attempt to slow down the shopping sprees and give workers time to restock shelves and prevent burnout. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "When Stocking Grocery Shelves Turns Dangerous," 20 Mar. 2020 Of great concern now, says Mr Presti, is staff burnout. The Economist, "All’italiana Should other countries copy Italy’s nationwide lockdown?," 12 Mar. 2020 Doctors are experiencing burnout at an incredible pace. Chip Roy, National Review, "The Direct Primary Care Solution for America’s Health Care Woes," 27 Feb. 2020 Undervalued and unacknowledged In research published by the journal Social Movement Studies in January 2019, researchers reviewed at least six studies that explored the subject of animal rights activist burnout. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "Animal activism is a boys’ club. Silicon Valley could change that," 13 Feb. 2020 The 4th-century philosopher Hypatia, a stardust milkshake-swilling burnout who now goes by Patty (guest star Lisa Kudrow), warned them that their brains would eventually turn to mush, like hers. Washington Post, "What did ‘The Good Place’ teach us? That even eternal bliss needs a happy ending.," 31 Jan. 2020 The burnout rate is going up, kids are quitting earlier than ever. BostonGlobe.com, "Next up is the “Oktoberfest”, a Marzen type (traditional brewed in March) German beer. Youkilis only takes one sip of each beer.," 16 Dec. 2019 The play, by Charles Evered, was inspired by the plight of actors who get typecast as Scrooge, play the role year after year and experience burnout. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "What’s your favorite line from ‘A Christmas Carol'? Four Connecticut Scrooges tell us theirs, and ‘Bah! Humbug!’ isn’t among them," 21 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And with the burn out of the way, One Day at a Time could move on to the sincere, heartwarming storylines that have resonated with its viewers. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, ""One Day at a Time" Is Back for Season 4 Following Netflix Cancellation," 25 Mar. 2020 In the early days of the outbreak, Wuchang Hospital’s 51-year-old director, a neurosurgeon named Liu Zhiming, had warned colleagues about working too hard and burning out. WSJ, "One Doctor’s Life on the Coronavirus Front Lines. ‘If We Fail, What Happens to You All?’," 4 Mar. 2020 Rival groups threw rocks at each other, and footage from the aftermath of the violence circulated on social media showed burned out buildings and cars. Guy Davies, ABC News, "Citizenship riots in Delhi turn deadly while Trump talks up religious unity in India," 25 Feb. 2020 And, rather than take effective actions to address the cause of these fires, is actually worsening the chances of fires burning out of control in the future both by reducing the fire resiliency of forests, and speeding the effects of climate change. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Emails Show DOI Falsified Fire Data for Political Ends," 7 Feb. 2020 The street-racing activity often included speeding, doing doughnuts, burning out tires, drag racing, not wearing seat belts, hanging out of car windows and blocking intersections, the department said at the time. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Arizona lawmaker proposes bill to fine street racers, create 'drag racing prevention' fund," 7 Feb. 2020 Bushfires have been burning out of control around Australia since September, destroying homes, killing 29 people and almost 5 million wild animals. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Alexander Zverev vows to donate $2.7 million prize to brushfire relief if he wins Australian Open," 29 Jan. 2020 Ian McBeth was flying a C-130 water-bombing plane this week in New South Wales, where fires are burning out of control. Jay Croft, CNN, "Montana governor honors pilot who died fighting Australia's wildfires," 25 Jan. 2020 Their scrawl rushed across the page, as if the words were burning out of them. Douglas Stuart, The New Yorker, "Found Wanting," 6 Jan. 2020

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

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Burnout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burnout. Accessed 7 Apr. 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

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