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1. To destroy something with fire. We watched helplessly as our house burned down despite the firefighters' efforts.
2. To weaken or wane, as of a flame. Get the birthday girl in here—the candles on her cake are burning down!
3. slang To embarrass someone (who can be mentioned between "burn" and "down"). Andrew must be really insecure because he's always trying to burn other people down with snide comments.
burn someone down
Sl. to humiliate someone. Man, don't you ever burn me down like that again! You just want to burn down everybody to make yourself seem better.
burn something down
[for a fire] to destroy a building completely. The fire burned the barn down. It burned down the barn.
1. [for a building] to be destroyed by fire. The barn burned down. There was a fire, and the old factory was burned down.
2. [for a fire] to burn and dwindle away. The flame burned down and then went out. As the fire burned down, it began to get cold.
1. Completely consume by fire, burn to the ground, as in Their house burned down and they had nowhere to go. [Mid-1800s]
2. Diminish for lack of fuel, as in The fire will soon burn down. [Late 1800s]