Afterburner – Definition & Meaning

Afterburner is a term used in the aviation industry to describe a device that is used to increase the thrust of a jet engine. It is a crucial component that allows aircraft to achieve higher speeds and better performance. In this article, we will explore the definition, origin, and meaning of the term afterburner.


An afterburner is a device that is installed in the exhaust section of a jet engine. It injects fuel into the exhaust stream and ignites it, creating an intense flame that increases the thrust of the engine. The afterburner is also known as a reheat system, as it reheats the exhaust gases to produce additional thrust.


The afterburner was first developed during World War II to increase the speed and performance of military aircraft. It was initially used on fighter planes, but later became a standard feature on many military and commercial aircraft. The technology has continued to evolve over the years, with modern afterburners being more efficient and powerful than their predecessors.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an afterburner is “a device for augmenting the thrust of a jet engine by burning additional fuel in the exhaust gases after they have left the turbine.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a device fitted to a jet engine to increase the thrust by burning additional fuel in the exhaust gases.”


The afterburner is associated with high-performance military aircraft, such as fighter jets and bombers. It is also used on some commercial aircraft, particularly those designed for supersonic flight. The afterburner is often seen as a symbol of power and speed, and is often featured in movies and video games.


Synonyms for afterburner include reheat system, augmentor, and burner can.


There are no direct antonyms for afterburner, but some related terms include subsonic, low-speed, and non-augmented.

The same root words

The term afterburner is composed of two words: after and burner. After refers to something that comes later, while burner refers to a device that burns fuel to produce heat or energy.

Example Sentences

  1. The afterburner on the fighter jet kicked in, propelling it forward at incredible speed.
  2. The commercial aircraft used its afterburner to achieve supersonic speeds.
  3. The afterburner is a crucial component of modern military aircraft.
  4. The pilot activated the afterburner to evade an incoming missile.
  5. The afterburner adds an extra level of power to the jet engine, allowing the aircraft to perform maneuvers that would be impossible otherwise.
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