Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “burn”

burn

verb  /bɜrn/ (past tense and past participle burned  /bɜrnd, bɜrnt/ or burnt  /bɜrnt/) us  

burn verb (BE IN FLAMES)

[I/T] to produce flames and heat: [I] A fire still burned in the fireplace. [I/T] If something burns a fuel, it uses that fuel to produce energy: [I] Some new fuels burn more efficiently than gasoline. [M] Running is a good way to burn off calories.

burn verb (HURT BY FIRE)

[T] to hurt, damage, or destroy something by fire or extreme heat: She burned her hand on the hot iron. People still burn trash although it’s illegal. The toast was burned to a crisp (= burned until it was black). [T] infml If you are burned by an activity, you are hurt emotionally or financially because of it: He got burned in an investment and lost a lot of money.

burn

noun [C] /bɜrn/
a placed where fire or heat has hurt or damaged something: One worker had severe burns on his face and hands.
(Definition of burn from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of burn?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Work, working and the workplace, but you might be interested in these topics from the Working topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “burn” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

microbrewery

a small company that makes beer, usually using traditional methods, and often has a restaurant where its beer is served

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More