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1. verb To cease burning (as of something that is on fire). Get the birthday girl in here before the candles on her cake burn out! At this point, the firefighters are just going to let the fire burn out.
2. verb To stop working properly, often through overheating. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun can be used between "burn" and "out." Unfortunately, I think the motor in your lawn mower has burned out. We have to repair the engine before it burns itself out.
3. verb To hollow out by fire, as of a building. The fire completely ravaged and burned out our beloved home.
4. verb To force someone to leave a place by setting it on fire. During their attack, the troops burned out everyone in the town.
5. verb To overwork or exhaust someone or oneself, especially to the point of no longer being able to maintain a particular level of performance or dedication. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is often used between "burn" and "out." If you keep staying up so late working on this report, you're going to burn yourself out. Don't burn out your interns by making them come in every day.
6. noun One who is apathetic and unmotivated, especially an employee. When used as a noun, the phrase is usually written as one word. We need to hire some hard workers and get rid of these burnouts who collect a paycheck for doing nothing.
7. noun, slang A regular drug user or addict who displays the adverse effects of drug use, especially cognitive impairment. When used as a noun, the phrase is usually written as one word. You can't dismiss these students just because they're burnouts—they clearly need help and guidance.
1. Overworked or exhausted, especially to the point of no longer being able to maintain a particular level of performance or dedication. If you keep working nights and weekends, you're going to get burned out. She's probably burned out after studying all week.
2. slang Physically damaged by drug use. Typically used to describe an IV drug user's veins. I used to be an addict, honey, so my veins are all burned out these days.
3. slang Negatively impacted by drug use or addiction. You can't just dismiss these burned out students when they clearly need help and guidance.
4. slang Tolerant of a certain drug and thus unable to feel its effects anymore. I'm burned out on that stuff, man—it just does nothing for me anymore.
burned outand burnt out
1. mod. tired; bored. I’m burned out after all that partying.
2. mod. having to do with the ruined veins of an addict. (Drugs.) My veins are burnt out so I shoot in the jug.
3. mod. ruined by marijuana smoking. (see also burnout.) What’s left for these burned out kids?
4. mod. no longer affected by a particular drug. (Drugs.) It’s no good. I’m just burned out. The stuff doesn’t affect me at all.
See burned out