Slang something, esp. a closely contested sports event, that is very exciting, intense, dramatic, etc.
An extremely impressive event or successful outcome: “September will not be any barnburner [for car sales]” (Lee Iacocca).
- (idiomatic) An extremely exciting or successful event or person.
- One who burns down a barn.
From the idea of burning down one’s barn to get rid of a rat infestation.