Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to burning: Burning Man

are your ears burning?

A rhetorical question addressed to someone who was not present for a conversation about which he or she was the subject. Oh, Marty! We were just talking about your new play. Are your ears burning?
See also: ear

(one's) ears are burning

Said by or of someone who did not witness people talking about him or her, intuiting that this is the case. Are you two talking about me? My ears are burning.
See also: burning, ear

burning question

 and the burning question
Fig. a question whose answer is of great interest to everyone; a question that needs very much to be answered, as a fire needs to be extinguished. There's a burning question that needs to be answered: Why did you leave your wife of only one month?
See also: burning, question

keep the home fires burning

Fig. to keep things going at one's home or other central location. (From a World War I song.) My uncle kept the home fires burning when my sister and I went to school. The manager stays at the office and keeps the home fires burning while I'm out selling our products.
See also: burning, fire, home, keep

burning the midnight oil

working very long hours, often into the night What doctors do know is that burning the midnight oil is bad for your health.
Etymology: from the use of oil to provide light before the invention of electricity
See also: burning, midnight, oil

have something burning a hole in your pocket

if someone has money burning a hole in their pocket, they want to spend it as soon as possible I had a fifty dollar bill that was burning a hole in my pocket, so I figured I'd go out and have a really good time.
See also: burning, have, hole, pocket

your ears must be burning

something that you say to someone who is being talked about All that talk about William - his ears must have been burning.
See box ears, can't believe ears, pin back ears, prick ears up, be up to ears in
See also: burning, ear, must

keep the home fires burning

to keep your home pleasant and in good order while people who usually live with you are away, especially at war They relied on their wives and sweethearts to keep the home fires burning when they marched off to war.
See also: burning, fire, home, keep

burning question

An urgent or crucial issue under heated discussion. For example, Real estate taxes are always a burning question for the town leaders. This term has exact equivalents in French ( question brûlante) and German ( brennende Frage). [Mid-1800s]
See also: burning, question

ears are burning, one's

Be disconcerted by what one hears, especially when one is being talked about. For example, Were your ears burning? Jim was telling us about your exploits. Similarly, make one's ears burn means "to embarrass," as in Mom's stories about us as babies make my ears burn. These expressions allude to one's ears turning red from blushing.
See also: ear
References in periodicals archive ?
2 -- color) Firefighters established a command post at Castaic Lake, about 20 miles south of where the Day Fire was burning out of control on Wednesday.
But in other communities, WTE plants have encountered opposition because people think of them as incinerators that are burning regular trash.
This harsh locale might seem a strange destination for a hedonistic pilgrimage, yet the masses flock to it for the annual, ephemeral manifestation of Burning Man, a weeklong festival that is also, on many levels, a huge art event.
There are dozens of coal fires burning out of control in Pennsylvania alone; worldwide, there could be hundreds of thousands.
This is Burning Man, the world's biggest and wackiest annual summer camp, where artists, performers and business professionals from all over come to frolic, commune with nature and forget corporate life during the last week of August.
Racist groups have long used burning crosses among their symbols, and to intimidate blacks, Jews, and other minority groups.
In the Southwest and California, the practice of light burning became known as "Paiute forestry.
The idea that low intensity aerobic activities are better for fat burning than high intensity exercise was given credence when several research studies indicated that low intensity activities burned a greater percentage of fat calories than high intensity activities.
We recently moved to a community where routine outdoor burning of leaves and trash is very irritating to my throat.
Certainly, Burning Man has changed from a truly anarchistic event--an anything-goes party of pyrotechnics and drive-by shooting ranges done off the grid, with no official approval sought and none granted--into a limited-liability corporation that charges admission and devotes a huge amount of resources to placating government agencies at all levels.
If we'd done more prescribed burning, we could have greatly reduced its damage.
While World of Warcraft has continued to grow rapidly along with its player population, The Burning Crusade will represent our single largest addition of new game content and new features to date," said Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment.
Here, the oxidizer is either oxygen or another compound that accepts electrons readily enough and fast enough to drive the heat-releasing chemical reactions that underlie burning.
The numbers were staggering: The month of July began with large fires in the Northwest; Great Basin, Alaska; Southern California; and the Northern Rockies, and ended with 48 big fires still burning.
In the past decade, wood burning has almost doubled throughout the country.