burn · verb /bɜːn/Full view
Nouns: burn, burner
Adjectives: burning, burnt
Verbs: burn
burn (DESTROY)
B1 I or T to (cause something to) be damaged or destroyed by fire or extreme heat
Dictionary examples:

The factory burned to the ground.

She burnt his old love letters.

He dropped his cigarette and burnt a hole in his jacket.

Learner example:

That day, I left her on the stairs, I came back home and burnt the letter. (Preliminary English Test; B1; Italian)

B1 I to be on fire, or to produce flames
Dictionary examples:

The wood was wet and would not burn.

A fire was burning brightly in the fireplace.

Learner example:

After a while I found matches and firewood, and soon a nice warm fire was burning in the fireplace. (First Certificate in English; B2; Swedish)

B1 I or T If you burn something that you are cooking, you cook it too much and if something you are cooking burns, it cooks too much.
Dictionary example:

Check the pizza - I think it's burning!

Learner example:

He burned the chicken, so we had only sala[d] and bread. (Preliminary English Test; B1; German)

burn (HURT BODY)
B1 T to hurt a part of the body with fire or heat
Dictionary example:

I burnt my hand on the iron.

Learner example:

If I go to the beach I like to wear a swimming suit that cover[s] all of my body because I don't want to burn my skin. (Preliminary English Test; B1; Thai)

burn (COPY)
B2 T to copy music, information or images onto a CD
Dictionary example:

He's burnt all his favourite records onto a CD.

Learner example:

Microsoft Vista is [such a] complex system that there is no need for the additional programs for viewing websites, watching movies, listening [to] music or burning your own CDs or DVDs. (Skills for Life (Level 1); B2; Slovak)

burn (ENERGY)
B2 T to use fuel to produce heat or energy
Dictionary example:

to burn calories/fuel

Learner example:

In this way, our organism is provided with oxygen which is essential in order to burn fat and produce the energy we need every day. (First Certificate in English; B2; Greek)

burn the midnight oil
C2 to work late into the night
Dictionary example:

I had to burn the midnight oil to get the essay finished.

Learner example:

My examinations were nearing and I was always burning the midnight oil. (Certificate of Proficiency in English; C2; Chinese)

burn down (sth) or burn (sth) down
B2 to destroy something, especially a building, by fire, or to be destroyed by fire
Dictionary examples:

Their house burnt down while they were away on holiday.

He tried to burn down the school.

Learner example:

[In] about 1850, the king's castle burned down, and then he bought Amalienberg and made it a residence for the royal family. (First Certificate in English; B2; Danish)

burn out
B2 to become ill or very tired from working too hard
Dictionary example:

If he keeps working this hard he'll just burn out.

Learner example:

If you are doing so much work, you will get burned out and th[e]n it's more difficult to get fit again. (First Certificate in English; B2; Swedish)

burn up sth or burn sth up
B2 to use fuel, energy, etc.
Dictionary example:

A car this size burns up a lot of fuel.

Learner example:

Going to work by bicycle makes you get exercise so as to burn up food and fat to produce energy. (First Certificate in English; B2; Italian)

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