Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “burn”

burn

verb (DAMAGE)    /bɜːn/ US  /bɝːn/ (burnt or burned, burnt or burned)
B1 [I or T] to be hurt, damaged, or destroyed by fire or extreme heat, or to cause this to happen: He was badly burned in the blaze. She burned his old love letters. The brandy burned (= felt too hot on) my throat. On her first day in the Caribbean Josie was badly burned (= her skin became red and painful from too much sun). Fair-skinned people burn easily in the sun. Unable to escape, six people were burned alive/burned to death (= died by burning) in the building. The vegetables were burned to a crisp (= badly burned).Burning, burnt and on fire [T always passive] to cause emotional pain or damage to someoneMaking people sad, shocked and upset burn sb at the stake to kill someone by tying them to a post and burning themDeath penalties burn sth to the ground to completely destroy a building by fire: The building was burned to the ground ten years ago.Burning, burnt and on fire
(Definition of burn verb (DAMAGE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of burn

Definitions of “burn” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

crew

If you crew a boat, or crew for someone on their boat, you help to sail it.

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