Definition of burning in English:



  • 1On fire.

    ‘a burning building’
    • ‘Even as she waved for help from the burning aircraft, fire devoured her within seconds.’
    • ‘He was in a burning building, the fire was below him and it was a long way down to get out.’
    • ‘She looked over toward the living room and saw the soft flickering light from a burning fire.’
    • ‘Pensioner Anthony Tanner was left highly distressed after a vandal tried to set his house on fire with a burning newspaper.’
    • ‘The thing's grin pulled wider as he reached down and picked up a burning timber from the fire.’
    • ‘He grabbed a burning stick from the fire as Egil had done and made his way back into the tunnel.’
    • ‘He stroked my face as he said this, drawing burning lines of fire wherever the tip of his thumb went.’
    • ‘He has, apparently burst out of a burning building, from a fire he set himself.’
    • ‘He was shaken out of his thoughts by a thud, as another burning arrow was fired at the broken window.’
    • ‘Walking to a still burning fire nearby, she turned it over and in the low light saw it was inscribed.’
    • ‘The makeshift cave was lit by the fire of a few burning torches connected to the walls by age old rusty iron rings and stands.’
    • ‘As she walked, she played with the fire on the burning torches that lined the walls of the corridor.’
    • ‘At one fire he was showered in burning liquid, setting fire to his clothes and losing half of his moustache.’
    • ‘The fire started when a burning scented candle on a window ledge ignited the curtains.’
    • ‘They managed to escape the burning building and once outside, contacted the fire service.’
    • ‘He was illuminated by the fire of the burning building, and he could feel all of their eyes on him.’
    • ‘During the Bradford riots many small fires, including burning cars, were left to burn for long periods.’
    • ‘She ran, conscious only of the burning fire in her straining lungs and the ache in her side.’
    • ‘I took a stick of red wax and held it over the fire of a burning candle until it was so hot that it dripped.’
    • ‘The Fire Brigade extinguished a blaze on a semi trailer, a grass fire and a burning overturned car and caravan.’
    blazing, flaming, aflame, fiery, flaring, ignited, glowing, red-hot, flickering, smouldering
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    1. 1.1Very hot or bright.
      ‘the burning midday sun’
      • ‘Theo and I climbed and scrambled until midday under a burning sun.’
      • ‘The reporter said that officers had forced him to sit in liquid sewage and kept him for hours in the burning sun.’
      • ‘It is a long way from the burning deserts of Arizona to the gateway to Russia.’
      • ‘This morning I noticed a cherry tree which has begun its spiralling journey towards the burning brights of autumn colour.’
      • ‘I stood on deck in the burning sun, searching for that invisible equatorial line.’
      • ‘It is not a total sun block and is designed to filter most of the sun's harmful burning rays while still allowing tanning.’
      • ‘She looked past him, not at him, and the sun had become a burning ember beneath that far off hill.’
      • ‘These elephants stand throughout the day in the burning sun with heavy chains on their legs.’
      • ‘There was a flash of light more intense than a thousand suns and a burning heat.’
      • ‘Scouts were usually seen playing in the water to escape the burning sun's rays and get cooled down.’
      • ‘That looked to be it as the sides laboured under the burning sun, but the encounter exploded in the closing 10 minutes.’
      • ‘Then we slip into Caribbean time and spend the next two hours talking and watching the waves run up the beach in the burning afternoon sun.’
      • ‘Heat and boiling air struck her face like a hammer as she fell to the burning sand.’
      • ‘It was malicious, horrible, with two small red eyes as bright as points of burning coal.’
      • ‘In the center of the ring lay a prone Johnson with his hand covering his eyes from the burning hot Cuban afternoon sun.’
      • ‘In parts of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the roasting is done by the burning sun.’
      • ‘I helped unearth it and I know the burning salt sands were too tightly packed to have just been recently patted down.’
      • ‘His brown skin glistens in the burning noon sun, and his hair is tousled, streaked brown.’
      • ‘She fell to the ground with a soft thud, blacking out before even hitting the burning sands.’
      • ‘Many feared that the soles of their standard issue boots would tend to melt on the burning desert sands.’
      extremely hot, red-hot, unbearably hot, flaming, fiery, blistering, scorching, searing, sweltering, torrid, tropical, like an oven, like a furnace, like a blowtorch
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    2. 1.2Very keenly or deeply felt; intense.
      ‘he had a burning ambition to climb to the upper reaches of management’
      • ‘It was always her burning ambition to see her mother's name cleared.’
      • ‘The usually quiet brother looked into his father's face with burning fire in his eyes.’
      • ‘He said he hopes to make a comfortable living from acting - that's his burning ambition.’
      • ‘Then, in the light of the dimly burning fire in the heart he went to her.’
      • ‘Malquin shook on his knees, the new wound only adding to the burning fires of pain inside of him.’
      intense, passionate, deep-seated, profound, wholehearted, strong, powerful, forceful, vigorous, ardent, urgent, fervent, fierce, earnest, eager, keen, enthusiastic, zealous, fanatical, frantic, consuming, extreme, acute, raging, blazing, uncontrollable
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    3. 1.3Of urgent interest and importance; exciting or calling for debate.
      ‘pension reform is still a burning issue’
      ‘the burning question of independence’
      • ‘That's the burning question I pose to my boyfriend as we tool around the suburbs looking for a decent place to eat.’
      • ‘Could your Letters page solve the burning question of the new year?’
      • ‘Whether the overwhelming majority of them have a future in the area is the burning issue.’
      • ‘As for the burning question of the moment - will the major media cover this story or bury it?’
      • ‘This was the burning question at a special seminar held on Wednesday to demonstrate how the fire brigade would spring into action.’
      • ‘The burning question that has been plaguing me for months has finally been answered.’
      • ‘Why and how did Mr. Modi's future become a burning issue at the start of what was supposed to be a relaxed vacation?’
      • ‘Here is the burning question: Would you vote for this kind of man for Prime Minister?’
      • ‘Now we all know the answer to the once burning question is a resounding yes!’
      • ‘For all the opera companies in Britain it's the burning question.’
      • ‘The golf lived up to all you would expect and the burning question was just who would lift the Captain's prize?’
      • ‘A pump operator from the Water Board said the meeting was very important and a burning issue.’
      • ‘While everything seems to be clicking into place, there is however, one burning question.’
      • ‘I am a young man with a burning question: Does an engagement ring have to be a diamond?’
      • ‘The burning question is how their research arms could hope to survive as stand-alone profit centres.’
      • ‘The burning issue now is for all of us to keep vigil and stop the contractors from bringing down the tree at night.’
      • ‘The burning question is, is there someone out there who can give an honest and reliable answer to this transport problem?’
      • ‘One of my students from Japan had a burning question she wanted to ask.’
      • ‘The burning issue of environmental pollution cries out for joint action.’
      • ‘The Government's arson control forum is dishing up £133,000 to tackle the burning issue.’
      important, crucial, significant, prevalent, pertinent, relevant, topical, current, contemporary, of interest, active, live, controversial, urgent, pressing, compelling, critical, vital, lively, essential, acute, pivotal, climacteric
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