1 verb past and past participle burnt or burned FIRE
1 PRODUCE HEAT (I) to produce heat and flames: Is the fire still burning?
2 DESTROY WITH FIRE (I, T) to be destroyed by fire or destroy something with fire: burn sth: I burnt all his old letters.
3 burn to the ground/burn to ashes if a building burns to the ground, it is completely destroyed by fire
4 burn sth to a crisp/cinder to burn something until it is black, especially by cooking it for too long
5 DAMAGE BY FIRE (I, T) to damage something or hurt someone with fire or heat, or be hurt or damaged in this way: I've burnt my hand. | Quick, the toast's burning! | burn a hole in: Be careful you don't burn a hole in the chair with your cigarette.
6 (T) to damage or destroy something by a chemical action; corrode
7 be burned to death/burned alive to be killed in a fire
8 burn sb at the stake to kill someone by tying them to a post on top of a fire
9 (I, T) if you burn a fuel, or if it burns, it is used to produce power, heat, light etc: The central heating boiler burns oil.
10 SHINE (I) if a light or lamp burns, it shines or produces light: A light was burning in her window.
11 (I, T) to feel unpleasantly hot or make part of your body feel like this: I'm afraid the ointment might burn a bit.
12 BE EMBARRASSED (I) if your face or cheeks are burning, they feel hot because you are embarrassed or upset
13 be burning with rage/desire etc to feel an emotion very strongly
14 be burning to do sth to want to do something very much: Hannah's burning to tell you her news.
15 it burns me/her/John etc that AmE used to say that something makes someone feel angry or jealous: It really burns me the way they treat us.
16 be/get burned to be emotionally hurt by someone or something
17 burn a hole in your pocket if money is burning a hole in your pocket, you want to spend it as soon as you can
18 burn your fingers/get your fingers burned informal to suffer the unpleasant results of something that you have done: George got his fingers badly burned when the travel company collapsed.
19 be/get burned to lose a lot of money, especially in a business deal: A lot of people got burned buying junk bonds.
20 GO FAST (intransitive always + adv/prep) to travel very fast
(+ along/through/up etc): a sports car burning up the motorway
21 burn rubber AmE informal to start a car moving so quickly that the tyres become very hot and make a loud high noise
22 burn your bridges/boats informal to do something that you cannot change, that often makes a situation difficult for you
23 burn the candle at both ends informal to work too hard for too long
24 burn the midnight oil informal to work or study until late at night
USAGE NOTE: BURN SPELLING In American English the past tense and past participle of the verb is burned: She burned a hole in my new shirt. In British English burnt is used, though burned is also used, especially when the action goes on for some time: The fire burned brightly. | I've burnt my hand. | The house burnt down. In both American and British English, burnt is used when the word is used as an adjective: burnt toast | a burnt tree (=made black by burning) This is also true of spoiled/spoilt, learned/learnt, spilled/spilt, spelled/spelt, smelled/smelt, and, with a pronunciation difference as well, leaned/leant, leaped/leapt, dreamed/dreamt, kneeled/knelt. e.g. I learned English for ten years. | a spoilt child

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.


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