One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of a fire) produce brighter and stronger flames.
- ‘‘I think we may get the fire to burn up again,’ he added, throwing some logs upon the embers.’
- ‘He quickly pulled the match head across the strip, a flame quickly burning up on that very tip.’
- ‘There are three major fires burning up there with smoke going high into the sky, and just beside us here, an oil tanker is well on fire.’
2(of an object entering the earth's atmosphere) be destroyed by heat.
- ‘Most meteorites travelling towards earth burn up in the atmosphere, but it's estimated that on average, one does make it through each week.’
- ‘When you considering how many meteors burn up on entering our atmosphere it's obvious that if even the tiniest little thing goes wrong with the heat protection then it's curtains.’
- ‘The new estimate stems from observations of fireballs from extraterrestrial objects of a certain size that burned up in Earth's atmosphere between February 1994 and September 2002.’
- ‘The Foton-M2 service module was hereafter separated from the re-entry module and, as planned, burnt up in Earth's atmosphere.’
- ‘The craft drop debris at just the right height to ensure that it will fall back to Earth relatively quickly and burn up in the atmosphere.’
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