What's the difference between "burn up" and "burn down"? Or is there a difference at all?
My take is that "burn up" comes from some sense that the thing is used up (fuel is used and is gone). "Burn down" means the thing has "burned down to the ground" in that all structure and support is gone.
One might say that "all my stuff was burned up in the fire when my house burned down." You'd be less likely to hear "my house burned up," but it is not totally unheard of usage.
There's also a common third option—"burn through"—which evokes the idea of a wave of fire moving across or through something. "I burned through all my money at that casino in about two hours."
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1 if something burns up or is burnt up, it is completely destroyed by fire or heat :
2 burn something up informal to use a lot of something in a careless way :
3 be burning up spoken if someone is burning up, they are very hot, usually because they are ill :
4 burn somebody up American English informal to make someone very angry :
5 burn something up to use energy that is stored in your body, by being physically active:
1 if a building burns down or is burned down, it is destroyed by fire :
burn something down The old town hall was burnt down in the 1970s.
2 if a fire burns down, the flames become weaker and it produces less heat
Burn up is usually meant to indicate the usage of something:
Burn up can also mean angry:
Or traverse something quickly:
Burn down is normally structural, but it can also mean to go through something (as a fire 'goes through' a house):
There is a type of chart called a 'burndown chart' which demonstrates the second option.
To burn up means to light fire on something, like burn up your house, burn up your bed; you light fire on that, but it hasn't ended, the fire stays for some time. When you burn down, it means that the fire is already gone, and what you burned up is destroyed, like a house, the structure and support are gone.