Definition of burn out in English:

burn out

phrasal verb

  • 1Cease to function as a result of excessive heat or friction:

    ‘the clutch had burned out’
    • ‘Props fall off, clutches burn out, pumps seize, demand valves free-flow.’
    • ‘That was early in the race and normally when a clutch slips it will burn out, but that wasn't the case because he was able to finish and restart OK.’
    • ‘Soon his main engine burned out, shooting sparks all over Titty and giving her third degree electrical burns.’
    • ‘Three days later he got a second SMS saying that she had got as far as Parys but her clutch had burnt out and could he let her have R800 more for the repairs.’
    • ‘Hartge warned me not to push it hard everywhere, as the brakes would burn out faster than a Big Brother loser's media career.’
    • ‘Measures like this ensure the chip will not burn out as it heats up from use.’
    • ‘The first successful light bulbs marketed by Edison in the 1880s produced so much heat that they burnt out very rapidly.’
    • ‘There have been cases where the attempted power drain proved too much, and the power supply burnt out; other times, you'll just find the card doesn't work.’
  • 2Ruin one's health or become completely exhausted through overwork:

    ‘social pressures that can cause career women to burn out’
    ‘a burned-out undercover cop’
    • ‘Every cop felt it, and that's why many burned out.’
    • ‘But for a burned out cop like Mitch, it was just what the proverbial doctor had ordered.’
    • ‘The people who are really sensitive and try to deal with the maelstrom around them as individual humans are great, but often burn out early in their careers.’
    • ‘Mentally ill people burn out and cease to be creative.’
    • ‘Sadly, many of the good ones burn out early because they get tired of dealing with the dregs of corporate life, whiners and complainers from all levels of the organization.’
    • ‘She had died at the age of 45 from exhaustion, burnt out by the hardships of life.’
    • ‘Five albums, several smashes, a few misses and a new band member later and many of their early contemporaries have either burnt out or given into the ravages of time.’
    • ‘I think we spent a lot of time trying to convince tired and burned out staff that this is a good idea, instead of convincing the people who really should make the decisions.’
    • ‘Rather than improving technique, burned out dancers may report debilitating fatigue, loss of enthusiasm, and injuries.’
    • ‘Bruce Dern adds another dimension to the movie as Tom the burnt out Vietnam vet - you'll never dismiss street people again - though I'm sure you don't anyway, do you?’
    work too hard, work like a trojan, work like a horse, work like a slave, run oneself into the ground, work oneself into the ground, wear oneself to a shadow, work one's fingers to the bone, drive oneself into the ground, sweat, sweat blood, work day and night, burn the candle at both ends, burn the midnight oil, overtax oneself, overtax one's strength, kill oneself, do too much, overdo it, strain oneself, overburden oneself, overload oneself, drive oneself too hard, push oneself too hard
    knock oneself out, work one's tail off
    sweat one's balls off, work one's balls off
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