From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishburnburn1 /bɜːn $ bɜːrn/ ●●● S2 W3 verb (past tense and past participle burnt /bɜːnt $ bɜːrnt/ or burned) 1 PRODUCE HEATproduce flames and heat [intransitive] a) if a fire burns, it produces heat and flames There was a fire burning in the fireplace. An average household candle will burn for about six hours. b) if something is burning, it is producing flames and being damaged or destroyed by fire Parts of the building are still burning.2 DESTROY WITH FIREdestroy something with fire [transitive] to destroy or damage something with fire I burnt all his old letters. Cars were burned and shops were looted during the rioting. The Grand Hotel had burnt to the ground. Make sure the iron isn’t too hot or you’ll burn the cloth. He dropped his cigarette and burnt a hole in the carpet.3 injure/kill somebody with fire [transitive] to hurt yourself or someone else with fire or something hot I burned my hand on the oven door. She was badly burned in a road accident. Sixteen passengers were burned to death (=died in a fire). A family of five were burned alive in their home last night (=died in a fire). Heretics were burnt at the stake (=burnt in a fire as a punishment).4 sun [intransitive, transitive] if the sun burns your skin, or if your skin burns, it becomes red and painful from the heat of the sun → sunburn I burn quite easily. Don’t forget you can still get burnt when you’re swimming or when it’s cloudy. Her face and neck were quite badly burned.5 food [intransitive, transitive] to spoil food by cooking it for too long, or to become spoiled in this way I’m afraid I’ve burnt the pizza.burn something to a crisp/cinder The meat was burned to a crisp. 6 chemicals [transitive]DAMAGE to damage or destroy something by a chemical action Quite a lot of household chemicals can burn your skin.7 fuel [intransitive, transitive]TPUSE something if you burn a fuel, or if it burns, it is used to produce power, heat, light etc The boiler burns oil to produce heat. greenhouse gases caused by the burning of fossil fuels8 fat/energy [transitive] if you burn fat or calories, you use up energy stored in your body by being physically active Taking a brisk walk every morning is a great way to burn calories. a fat-burning exercise9 SHINElight [intransitive] if a light or lamp burns, it shines or produces light A lamp was burning in the kitchen window. The hall light was still burning.10 feel hot and painful [intransitive, transitive]FEEL HOT/COLD/TIRED ETC if a part of your body burns, or if something burns it, it feels unpleasantly hot The whisky burned my throat as it went down. My eyes were burning from the smoke. 11 BE EMBARRASSEDface/cheeks [intransitive] if your face or cheeks are burning, they feel hot because you are embarrassed or upset I could feel my cheeks burning as I spoke.12 CD [transitive] if you burn a CD or DVD, you record music, images, or other information onto it using special computer equipment13 → be burning with rage/desire etc14 → be burning to do something15 → be/get burned16 → burn your fingers/get your fingers burned17 → burn a hole in your pocket18 → burn your bridges/boats19 → burn the candle at both ends20 → burn the midnight oil21 → it burns somebody that/how etc22 GO FASTgo fast [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] informalFAST/QUICK to travel very fastburn along/up etc a sports car burning up the motorwayGrammarBurn belongs to a group of verbs where the same noun can be the subject of the verb or its object. • You can say: You’re burning the toast! In this sentence, ‘the toast’ is the object of burn.• You can also say: The toast is burning! In this sentence, ‘the toast’ is the subject of burn.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 3: to hurt yourself or someone else with fire or something hotadverbsbe badly/severely burnedHis face had been badly burned in the fire.be burned aliveThe animals were burned alive when a farm building caught fire.phrasesbe burned to deathAnyone inside the truck would have been burned to death.be burned at the stake (=burned in a fire as a punishment)In those days witches were burned at the stake. THESAURUSto be burningburn to produce heat and flamesThe fire was still burning.A pile of branches was burning in the yard.be on fire if a building, car, piece of clothing etc is on fire, it is burning and being damagedBefore long, the neighbouring houses were on fire too.be alight especially written if something is alight, it is burningBy the time the fire engines got there, the whole building was already alight.The candle was still alight.be ablaze especially written if something is ablaze, it is burning with a lot of flames, so that it is seriously damagedTwelve hours after the bombing raid, many parts of the city were still ablaze.The two hundred tonnes of straw were now ablaze and firefighters struggled to get the fire under control.blaze to burn very brightly with a lot of flames and heatA big log fire was blazing in the fireplace. smoulder British English, smolder American English /ˈsməʊldə $ ˈsmoʊldər/ to burn slowly and continuously, producing smoke but no flamesA cigarette smouldered in the ashtray.The fire in the chemical factory was so intense that it was still smouldering a week later.flicker if a fire or flame flickers, it burns with an unsteady light that appears and disappears quicklyA welcoming fire flickered in the grate. Inside the shrine candles flicker next to statues of saints.to start burningcatch fire to start burning accidentallyWe were worried the house would catch fire.Two farm workers died when a barn caught fire yesterday.burst into flames to suddenly start burning and produce a lot of flames that cause serious damageThe plane crashed into the side of the mountain and burst into flames.ignite /ɪɡˈnaɪt/ technical if a chemical or gas ignites, it starts burningThe compound ignites at 450 degrees Celsius.Scientists could not explain why the gas had suddenly ignited.to burn somethingburn to damage or destroy something with fire or heatShe lit a fire and burned his letters one by one.set fire to something (also set something on fire) to make something start burning so that it gets damagedVandals set fire to an empty warehouse.Teresa wondered if the burning log might set fire to the curtains.The Vikings attacked villages along the coast and set them on fire.Sparks from the fireplace could easily set the curtains on fire.scorch to damage the surface of something by burning it so that a dark mark is left on itHaving the iron on a very high heat can scorch the fabric.The heater was left on all night and it scorched the wall.singe /sɪndʒ/ to damage hair, wool, paper etc by burning it slightly so that the ends or edges are burntThe flames were hot enough to singe your eyebrows.scald to burn your skin with very hot liquid or steamThe coffee was so hot it nearly scalded his tongue.It’s easy to knock a pan off the stove and scald yourself.He was scalded by steam escaping from the broken pipe. ignite technical to make something start to burn, especially something that burns easily such as a gas or chemicalThe gas is ignited by an electrical spark.It appears he threw away a lit cigarette which ignited the petrol spilt on the ground.to make something stop burningput out to make something such as a fire, cigarette, or candle stop burningIt took firefighters four hours to put out the blaze.She threw sand on the fire to put it out.I put out my cigarette and went back into the house.extinguish /ɪkˈstɪŋɡwɪʃ/ formal to make something such as a fire, cigarette, or candle stop burningHe managed to extinguish the flames with his coat.Customers who smoke will be asked to extinguish their cigarettes or leave the premises. blow out to make a flame or fire stop burning by blowing on itHe blew out the candle and went to sleep.The wind blew out the fire. → burn away → burn down → burn something ↔ off → burn out → burn up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusburn• The best protection is to get out of the sun before you get burned.• Fritter should turn golden brown but not burn.• Does styrofoam burn?• Someone had dropped a cigarette and burned a hole in the carpet.• Over 35 houses burned as wildfire swept through the town.• Christmas lights burned brightly all around town.• At one end of the room a coal fire burned brightly.• Our bodies are designed to burn carbohydrates and store fats.• The engine only burns diesel fuel.• They arrived within minutes to save the building from being burnt down.• She burnt her arm on a camping stove.• There was a hot fire in the potbellied stove and an oil lamp burning high on a table in the corner.• Marcus burned his hand on the stove.• She lit a fire and burned his letters one by one.• Most of the garbage is burned in a pit behind the building.• Jerry was badly burned in the explosion.• A pile of branches was burning in the yard.• Amongst the Phoenicians live infants were placed in the arms of a idol, and died in the flames burning inside it.• Miguel was angry enough to burn it.• There were signs, however, that she might burn out.• Oh, no! I've burnt the chicken!• Oh no, I burned the toast!• Most of his possessions had been burnt to a cinder.• Hard woods generally don't burn well.• The candle flickered briefly, then burned with a steady flame.• Cheap Scotch burns your throat.• Don't touch the iron. You'll burn yourself.burnt to the ground• Andrew was forced to return to Britian because the medical unit he was working with was burnt to the ground.• The headquarters was burnt to the ground.• Buses were destroyed and a luxury tourist hotel burnt to the ground, although no holidaymakers were injured.burnt at the stake• Governor Dulcitius had her sisters burnt at the stake.• He was then burnt at the stake.• Refusing to recant his doctrines as heretical, he was condemned to be burnt at the stake at Konstanz.get burnt• Andy can juggle fire clubs and no longer gets burnt.• Many of them got burnt out.burn along/up etc• The harder and faster they work. the more calories they will burn up and the leaner they will become.• The body not only burns up fat, but muscle and organs as well.• The usual solution, massive storage centers for recycled resources, burns up its slim profitability.• Most of these fireballs burn up or explode in the atmosphere and vanish without a trace.• Two uranium-fuelled Cosmos satellites from the Soviet Union burnt up re-entering the atmosphere around 20 years ago.• Two cases burning up the Internet show the extent to which technology has become the front line in the battles over privacy.• Coal fires burning along the way.• Millions burn up their free hours on one service, then hop to another to grab more free hours.