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

  • n. Inflammation or blistering of the skin caused by overexposure to direct sunlight.
  • transitive v. To affect or be affected with sunburn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A burn on the skin caused by excess exposure to the sun's rays.
  • v. To receive a sunburn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The burning or discoloration produced on the skin by the heat of the sun; tan.
  • transitive v. To burn or discolor by the sun; to tan.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To discolor or scorch by the sun; tan: said especially of the skin or complexion.
  • To be discolored or tanned by the sun.
  • n. A burning or scorching by the sun; especially, the tan occasioned by the exposure of the skin to the action of the sun's rays.
  • n. In botany, same as heliosis.
  • n. The injury to the leaves or bark of plants produced by the hot sun causing excessive or too rapid evaporation of the water content of the cells, and thus killing the tissues, which become brown. The tips and margins of rapidly growing leaves and the cambium layer of the bark of young trees are most frequently affected. Also called sun-scald. Compare heliosis.

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

  • v. get a sunburn by overexposure to the sun
  • n. redness of the skin caused by exposure to the rays of the sun
  • n. a browning of the skin resulting from exposure to the rays of the sun


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The best way to prevent sunburn is to always wear sunscreen with SPF protection.

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  • Redheads get more common the farther out in the Atlantic you go because the skies are more overcast, so the chance of a bad sunburn is less.

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  • But I can get a bad sunburn, which is brand new for me ...

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  • My sunburn is the biggest of my problems, so it turned out well too.

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  • UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it makes no more sense to have a sunburn, which is an injury to your skin, than it is to put your hand in scalding water.

    CNN Transcript May 31, 2004

  • BALCH: You know, it makes no more sense to have a sunburn, which is an injury to your skin, than it is to put your hand in scalding water.

    CNN Transcript Jul 3, 2004

  • An Irish tan, we'd called a sunburn when we were kids.

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  • However, avoid sunburn, which is hazardous to the skin.

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  • You have a splendid figure and a good face, and kind eyes and well-shaped feet and hands, -- and I like the look of you just now with that open collar and that gleam of sunlight in your curly hair -- and your throat is almost white, except for a touch of sunburn, which is RATHER becoming!

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  • ...these poor sun-burnt mariners, bare-footed, and with their trowsers rolled high up on their eely legs...

    - Melville, Moby-Dick, ch. 90

    July 29, 2008