from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun An extremely impressive event or successful outcome.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun Political Cant, U. S. 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
- noun informal an impressively successful or unusually good event.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun idiomatic An extremely exciting or successful event or person.
- noun One who burns down a barn.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun an impressively successful event
- noun someone who burns down a barn
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
One definition of barnburner is “someone who burns down a barn” but the other definition is “an impressively successful event.”
Calling the race between Shays and Himes a barnburner is interesting by its definition.
A close game with high scores is also called a barnburner, a 1960s sports usage based on an old political epithet.
P.S. Just now on MS.BC, Joe S.arborough described Miller's speech as a "barnburner," presumably intending a compliment.
Washington (D): The minute former state Sen. Dino Rossi (R) decided he was running again, this race had "barnburner" written all over it.
Back at the rally, a 'barnburner' speech was in progress, given by Juan Figueroa, Hartford's health care reform hero. (see Sleepy Little Connecticut: The Tip of the Health Care Reform Spear?
I hope you all were glued to your TVs to watch our men's squad upset our Canadian friends in a 5-3 barnburner at Hockey Canada Place.
The most impressive speech of the entire weekend was the closer, a barnburner by a freshman congressman named Allen West.
The soccer game taking place Tuesday in West London between two lower-division English teams, the Brentford Bees and the Brighton and Hove Albion Seagulls, isn't exactly a barnburner.
But the up-tempo middle of the set is a barnburner, and it's great to hear the flugelhorn wail.