Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Informal An extremely impressive event or successful outcome: "September will not be any barnburner [for car sales]” ( Lee Iacocca).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An extremely exciting or successful event or person.
  • n. One who burns down a barn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A member of the radical section of the Democratic party in New York, about the middle of the 19th century, which was hostile to extension of slavery, public debts, corporate privileges, etc., and supported Van Buren against Cass for president in 1848; -- opposed to Hunker.
  • n. an impressively successful or unusually good event.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A member of the more progressive of the two factions into which the Democratic party in the State of New York was long divided, the other faction being called the Hunkers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an impressively successful event
  • n. someone who burns down a barn

Etymologies

From the idea of burning down one’s barn to get rid of a rat infestation. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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