Definition of burning in English:


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  • 1On fire.

    ‘a burning building’
    • ‘He was in a burning building, the fire was below him and it was a long way down to get out.’
    • ‘He was illuminated by the fire of the burning building, and he could feel all of their eyes on him.’
    • ‘She looked over toward the living room and saw the soft flickering light from a burning fire.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Fire Brigade extinguished a blaze on a semi trailer, a grass fire and a burning overturned car and caravan.’
    • ‘Pensioner Anthony Tanner was left highly distressed after a vandal tried to set his house on fire with a burning newspaper.’
    • ‘At one fire he was showered in burning liquid, setting fire to his clothes and losing half of his moustache.’
    • ‘During the Bradford riots many small fires, including burning cars, were left to burn for long periods.’
    • ‘Even as she waved for help from the burning aircraft, fire devoured her within seconds.’
    • ‘He has, apparently burst out of a burning building, from a fire he set himself.’
    • ‘He stroked my face as he said this, drawing burning lines of fire wherever the tip of his thumb went.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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 makeshift cave was lit by the fire of a few burning torches connected to the walls by age old rusty iron rings and stands.’
    • ‘She ran, conscious only of the burning fire in her straining lungs and the ache in her side.’
    • ‘As she walked, she played with the fire on the burning torches that lined the walls of the corridor.’
    blazing, flaming, aflame, fiery, flaring, ignited, glowing, red-hot, flickering, smouldering
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    1. 1.1Very hot or bright.
      ‘burning desert sands’
      • ‘Many feared that the soles of their standard issue boots would tend to melt on the burning desert sands.’
      • ‘Theo and I climbed and scrambled until midday under a burning sun.’
      • ‘It was malicious, horrible, with two small red eyes as bright as points of burning coal.’
      • ‘It is a long way from the burning deserts of Arizona to the gateway to Russia.’
      • ‘In parts of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the roasting is done by the burning sun.’
      • ‘It is not a total sun block and is designed to filter most of the sun's harmful burning rays while still allowing tanning.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I stood on deck in the burning sun, searching for that invisible equatorial line.’
      • ‘His brown skin glistens in the burning noon sun, and his hair is tousled, streaked brown.’
      • ‘These elephants stand throughout the day in the burning sun with heavy chains on their legs.’
      • ‘She fell to the ground with a soft thud, blacking out before even hitting the burning sands.’
      • ‘She looked past him, not at him, and the sun had become a burning ember beneath that far off hill.’
      • ‘In the center of the ring lay a prone Johnson with his hand covering his eyes from the burning hot Cuban afternoon sun.’
      • ‘I helped unearth it and I know the burning salt sands were too tightly packed to have just been recently patted down.’
      • ‘Heat and boiling air struck her face like a hammer as she fell to the burning sand.’
      • ‘The reporter said that officers had forced him to sit in liquid sewage and kept him for hours in the burning sun.’
      • ‘Scouts were usually seen playing in the water to escape the burning sun's rays and get cooled down.’
      • ‘There was a flash of light more intense than a thousand suns and a burning heat.’
      • ‘This morning I noticed a cherry tree which has begun its spiralling journey towards the burning brights of autumn colour.’
      extremely hot, red-hot, unbearably hot, baking, baking hot, blazing, blazing 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’
      • ‘He said he hopes to make a comfortable living from acting - that's his burning ambition.’
      • ‘It was always her burning ambition to see her mother's name cleared.’
      • ‘Malquin shook on his knees, the new wound only adding to the burning fires of pain inside of him.’
      • ‘Then, in the light of the dimly burning fire in the heart he went to her.’
      • ‘The usually quiet brother looked into his father's face with burning fire in his eyes.’
      intense, passionate, deep-seated, profound, wholehearted, strong, powerful, forceful, vigorous, ardent, urgent, fervent, fervid, 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.
      ‘the burning question of independence’
      • ‘financial compensation remains a burning issue’
      • ‘A pump operator from the Water Board said the meeting was very important and a burning issue.’
      • ‘The Government's arson control forum is dishing up £133,000 to tackle the burning issue.’
      • ‘The golf lived up to all you would expect and the burning question was just who would lift the Captain's prize?’
      • ‘That's the burning question I pose to my boyfriend as we tool around the suburbs looking for a decent place to eat.’
      • ‘This was the burning question at a special seminar held on Wednesday to demonstrate how the fire brigade would spring into action.’
      • ‘For all the opera companies in Britain it's the burning question.’
      • ‘The burning issue of environmental pollution cries out for joint action.’
      • ‘As for the burning question of the moment - will the major media cover this story or bury it?’
      • ‘One of my students from Japan had a burning question she wanted to ask.’
      • ‘Why and how did Mr. Modi's future become a burning issue at the start of what was supposed to be a relaxed vacation?’
      • ‘I am a young man with a burning question: Does an engagement ring have to be a diamond?’
      • ‘The burning question that has been plaguing me for months has finally been answered.’
      • ‘While everything seems to be clicking into place, there is however, one burning question.’
      • ‘The burning question is, is there someone out there who can give an honest and reliable answer to this transport problem?’
      • ‘Could your Letters page solve the burning question of the new year?’
      • ‘Now we all know the answer to the once burning question is a resounding yes!’
      • ‘Here is the burning question: Would you vote for this kind of man for Prime Minister?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Whether the overwhelming majority of them have a future in the area is 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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/ˈbərniNG/ /ˈbərnɪŋ/