Definition of burn out in US English:

burn out

phrasal verb

  • 1Be completely consumed and thus no longer aflame.

    ‘the candle in the saucer had burned out’
    figurative ‘his political ambitions had burned themselves out’
    • ‘In the case of planets revolving around the sun, the sun burns out and entropy increases over time.’
    • ‘He said the fires had been blazing for so long that some of them had actually burned themselves out for lack of oxygen.’
    • ‘By 8am, the fire has burned itself out and heated the inside to about 400 degrees.’
    • ‘Astronomers believe it is the super-compressed heart of an old star, which has burnt out and become a 1,500-kilometre wide lump of crystallised carbon.’
    1. 1.1 Cease to function as a result of excessive heat or friction.
      ‘the clutch had burned out’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The first successful light bulbs marketed by Edison in the 1880s produced so much heat that they burnt out very rapidly.’
      • ‘Props fall off, clutches burn out, pumps seize, demand valves free-flow.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’