1. (drugs) a heavy abuser of drugs; also attrib.
|Angel Dust 167: Now it isn’t popular. (laughs) I mean being a burnout’s like being like a pig.et al.|
|With the Boys 182: At one school in Bolton Park, kids are classified as to whether they are daredevils (kids who get into trouble), jocks, or burnies (burn-outs – preadolescents who smoke, drink, and use drugs).|
|(con. 1970s) King Suckerman (1998) 199: Jerry was kind of a burnout.|
|Tattoo of a Naked Lady 170: I was the addict who’d lost all sense of shame, the burnout on the street, the junky in the gutter.|
|Mad mag. Sept. 40: There’s always that one burnout loser who hangs around the school parking lot.|
|Sellout (2016) 120: A route that once you got past the Santa Monica pier was mostly rideless, except for the burnouts [and] bums.|
2. the situation of having exhausted one’s capabilities (whether through sheer hard work or through drink and/or drugged excess), being no longer able to function efficiently at a job or discipline; thus the ‘burned-out’ individual.
|Big Red 153: So that’s where he was [...] out on a bender—a bloody big burn out.|
|Psychotic Reactions (1988) 172: The central heroic myth of the sixties was the burnout. Live fast, be bad, get messy, die young.in|
|Suicide Hill 66: ‘[A] psychiatrist's report that states, essentially, that he's a burnout’.|
|Golden Orange (1991) 56: Burnout. Stress. Same old story.|
|Guardian Guide 5-12 June 57: Success, excess and eventual burn-out after being forced to take it to the edge night after night.|
|Guardian 6 Jan. 8: Many GPs are suffering from ‘burn-out’ because of stress.|
|Nature Girl 8: [He] was rumored to be a dot-com burnout.|
|Eve. Standard (London) 29 Feb. 🌐 ‘Burn-out hits juniot doctors on front line.’ Junior doctors are increasingly suffering from burn-out and stress.|
3. a collapse, esp. when sudden.
|Fixx 166: The premature burn-out of Talbot’s career.|
4. (US) a burned-out building.
|Close Pursuit (1988) 12: He has gone through a hole in the floor of this burnout up in the Bronx.|
5. an alienated, aimless, poss. suicidal, young person.
|Teenage Wasteland 3: ‘Dropouts,’ ‘druggies,’ the papers called them [...] My friends, most of whom were born in the 1950s, felt the same way about the kids everyone called ‘burnouts’. [Ibid.] 59: Cop watching, skateboards, and car races are the burnouts’ idea of sports.|
6. (US campus) LSD.
|Da Bomb Summer Supplement 3: Burnout (n.) L.S.D., acid.|
7. spinning the rear wheels of a car without moving, thus causing a cloud of smoke.
|Indep. on Sun. Travel 25 July 2: ‘A burn-out’ [a crowd-pleasing manoeuvre that sees the rear wheels spin violently while the car remains stationary in a cloud of smoke].|
|Guardian G2 28 Apr. 4: There were a couple of tyre tracks from some burnouts.|
8. (UK prison) the setting on fire of a despised prisoner’s cell.
|(con. 1990) A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 341: Burn-outs were mainly for suspected nonces or grasses [...] It involved going into the victim’s cell and splashing petrol over his property before setting it ablaze. Baby oil, available from the canteen, could also be used.|
9. (US black) Motorola flip phones.
|? (Pronounced Que) [ebook] Motorola flip phones, known as burnouts on the street because they chipped and turned on illegally.|