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Word of the Day
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Definitions for barnburner

  1. Something that is highly exciting or impressive.
  2. Chiefly Pennsylvania. A wooden friction match.
  3. (Initial capital letter) A member of the progressive faction in the Democratic party in New York State 1845–52.

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Citations for barnburner
“So, ready for the elder's meeting tonight?” Olan said, pouring himself some coffee. “Should be a barnburner from what I hear.” Jonathan Weyer, The Faithful
"A real barnburner — look, you got me sweating buckets." Jason's sitting on the curb with his teammates. Craig Davidson, Rust and Bone
Origin of barnburner
1835-1845
Barnburner is an Americanism that was first observed in the 1830s. It referred to the practice of burning down a barn to get rid of rats.