burns, burning, burned, burnt
(The past tense and past participle is burned in American English, and burned or burnt in British English.)
1) VERB If there is a fire or a flame somewhere, you say that there is a fire or flame burning there.

Fires were burning out of control in the center of the city...

There was a fire burning in the large fireplace...

The furnace has a design that allows the flame to burn at a lower temperature.

2) VERB If something is burning, it is on fire.

When I arrived one of the vehicles was still burning...

The building housed 1,500 refugees and it burned for hours...

[V-ing] That boy was rescued from a burning house.

Derived words:
burning N-UNCOUNT

When we arrived in our village there was a terrible smell of burning.

3) VERB If you burn something, you destroy or damage it with fire.

[V n] Protesters set cars on fire and burned a building...

[V n] Incineration plants should be built to burn household waste...

[V n] Coal fell out of the fire, and burned the carpet.

Derived words:
burning N-UNCOUNT

The French government has criticized the burning of a US flag outside the American Embassy.

4) V-ERG If you burn a fuel or if it burns, it is used to produce heat, light, or energy.

[V n] The power stations burn coal from the Ruhr region...

Manufacturers are working with new fuels to find one that burns more cleanly than petrol.

5) V-ERG If you burn something that you are cooking or if it burns, you spoil it by using too great a heat.

[V n] I burnt the toast...

Watch them carefully as they finish cooking because they can burn easily.

Derived words:

...the smell of burnt toast.

6) VERB If you burn part of your body, burn yourself, or are burnt, you are injured by fire or by something very hot.

[V n] Take care not to burn your fingers...

[be V-ed] If you are badly burnt, seek medical attention. [Also V pron-refl]

Burn is also a noun.

She suffered appalling burns to her back.

7) VERB: usu passive If someone is burnt or burnt to death, they are killed by fire.

[be V-ed as n] Women were burned as witches in the middle ages...

[be V-ed to n] At least 80 people were burnt to death when their bus caught fire.

8) VERB If a light is burning, it is shining. [LITERARY]

The building was darkened except for a single light burning in a third-story window.

9) VERB: usu cont If your face is burning, it is red because you are embarrassed or upset.

Liz's face was burning.

10) VERB If you are burning with an emotion or are burning to do something, you feel that emotion or the desire to do that thing very strongly.

[V with n] The young boy was burning with a fierce ambition...

[V to-inf] Dan burned to know what the reason could be.

11) V-ERG If you burn or get burned in the sun, the sun makes your skin become red and sore.

Build up your tan slowly and don't allow your skin to burn. [Also V n]

12) V-ERG If a part of your body burns or if something burns it, it has a painful, hot or stinging feeling.

My eyes burn from staring at the needle...

[V with n] His face was burning with cold.

[V n] ...delicious Indian recipes which won't burn your throat.

13) VERB: usu passive If you are burned or get burned, you lose something as a result of taking a risk, usually in a business deal. [INFORMAL]

[be/get V-ed] They always took chances and got burned very badly in past years.

14) See also burning
15) to burn the candle at both endssee candle
to get your fingers burnedsee finger
to burn something to the groundsee ground
to burn the midnight oilsee midnight
to have money to burnsee money
Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.


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