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ver- (a common verbal prefix) +‎ brennen (to burn). Compare Old High German firbrinnan, English forburn.


  • IPA(key): /fɛɐ̯ˈbʀɛnən/
  • (file)


verbrennen (strong, third-person singular simple present verbrennt, past tense verbrannte, past participle verbrannt, past subjunctive verbrennte, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive) to burn (to cause to be consumed by fire or flames), to incinerate, to combust
    Das Feuer war verheerend, da nahezu jede Pflanze im Feuer verbrannte. — The fire was devastating because nearly every plant was consumed by the flames.
  2. (transitive, reflexive, medicine) to burn oneself, to suffer a burning
    sich den Arm verbrennen — to burn one's arm
    Neugierige Katzen verbrennen sich die Tatzen. — Curiosity killed the cat.
  3. (transitive, military) to scorch
    die Taktik der verbrannten Erde — the tactic of scorched earth
  4. to burn (to hurt the mouth by an overdose of spices)
    • 2010, Der Spiegel, issue 28/2010, page 98:
      Freunde exotischer Gerichte verbrennen sich mitunter gehörig den Mund, weil sie die Schärfe falsch einschätzen.
      Friends of exotic dishes now and then awfully burn their mouth, because they misjudge the spiciness.



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