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[suhn-burn] /ˈsʌnˌbɜrn/
inflammation of the skin caused by overexposure to the sun or a sunlamp.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), sunburned or sunburnt, sunburning.
to affect or be affected with sunburn:
An hour in the sun sunburned me severely. I sunburn easily.
Origin of sunburn
1520-30; sun + burn1
Related forms
unsunburned, adjective
unsunburnt, adjective
well-sunburned, adjective
well-sunburnt, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sunburn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My face was just skinned with sunburn, and the salt air made it worse.

  • Seth colored, under his coat of sunburn, and seemed embarrassed.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
  • His eyes, rimmed with dust, looked out of a face that was pale beneath the sunburn.

    The Vultures Henry Seton Merriman
  • Nor could she be certain that his coloring was due to sunburn.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • "Soldiers are but men," observed Thurstane, flushing through his sunburn.

    Overland John William De Forest
  • Some of it was sunburn, and some of it was rye, I expect, but he was glad to see all of us.

    Torchy, Private Sec. Sewell Ford
  • I'm so ragged that I got patches o' sunburn on my back an' belly.

    In the Days of Poor Richard Irving Bacheller
  • It is an excellent remedy for tan, freckles, and sunburn also.

  • His large hands, black with hair and sunburn, stroked his knees as he stooped smilingly forward and asked if she would have him.

    The Bridal March; One Day Bjrnstjerne Bjrnson
British Dictionary definitions for sunburn


inflammation of the skin caused by overexposure to the sun Technical name erythema solare
another word for suntan
Derived Forms
sunburnt, sunburned, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sunburn

1520s, from sun (n.) + burn (v.). Sunburnt (c.1400) is older than sunburned (c.1500, sunne y-brent). As a noun from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sunburn in Medicine

sunburn sun·burn (sŭn'bûrn')
Inflammation and erythema of the skin, often with blistering, caused by overexposure to the ultraviolet rays of direct sunlight.

sun'burn' v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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