I'm looking for a word that means the phobia "fear of being burned."

"Pyrophobia" is fear of fire, which is close, but not quite it. I'm not looking for a fear of fire itself, but actually a fear of being burned, either by fire or by anything hot, like the heating coil on an electric stovetop.

A Google search found a phobia wikia with "encavmaphobia", but I'm skeptical. Neither it nor any similar word is in the OED, and there are no hits in Google Books; and I can't think what that encavma root might refer to. (The closest nearby word in the OED is "encave", marked Obs. and meaning "to put into a cellar; to hide"; no apparent relation to burning.) I see a few (very few) uses of it on blogs, but they're all within the last year; and this entry was added about a year and a half ago. If it were a real word, I'd expect to find some instances that date from before that wikia page was created; I suspect those bloggers found the same wikia that I did.

(Update: I see that έγκαυμα (énkavma) is apparently the Greek word for "burn", which explains the encavma- root. But I still suspect the Wikia editor was making up his own word.)

  • 1
    Are there people who need to be described who are phobic of being burned who are not afraid of fire? Conversely, are there people who are phobic of fire who aren't afraid of being burned? I'm trying to understand what this clinic distinction accomplishes in practice -- if all burn-o-phobes fear fire, then aren't they already called "pyrophobics?" e.g. "Pyrophobics, who fear fire and being burned, attended the event." Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 21:35
  • The usual Anglicization of έγκαυμα would be (en)cauma, by the way. It's from the same root as caustic. Transliterating αυ as "av" before consonants is only usual for words from modern Greek, and in that case, usually kappa is transliterated as "k".
    – herisson
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 22:19
  • Also, the usual combining form of nouns ending in the neuter suffix -μα (-ma) is -mato-, as in soma, somatophobia and trauma, traumatophobia.
    – herisson
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 22:23

3 Answers 3


Nothing stops you from coining your own. The monoracinate word would be kaiophobia, but I think crematophobia would be immediately understood.


I think the word thermophobia may answer your question. Seeing the "thermo" in it, it is obviously a fear of heat, which may include getting burnt. You may be skeptical about it, but it is far more popular than encavmaphobia. The search thermophobia is on some dictionary pages and wikis, not including Webster Dictionary. This may solve your problem because it was updated recently on Wikipedia:

Thermophobia (adjective: thermophobic) is intolerance for high temperatures by either inorganic materials or organisms. [...] In medicine, thermophobia refers to a sensory dysfunction, sensation of abnormal heat


thermophobia: noun a fear of heat

  • 2
    Thanks you. I meant to include that one along with pyrophobia. That is fear of heat, as pyrophobia is fear of fire. But I'm really looking for a work that means fear of being injured by heat or fire. I suspect the word does not exist.
    – codingatty
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 21:02
  • I'm upvoting your answer as you beat me by 3 min. @OP, I think thermophobia is appropriate, as excessive heat (temperature) leads to burning.
    – 0xFEE1DEAD
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 21:08
  • 2
    Heat can kill you without scorching you. It may desiccate you or stew you.
    – deadrat
    Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 21:11
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    Many "fear of being injured" words don't exist -- we call them "normal people," because the concept of creating a clinical word for an aversion / obsession has a history of being used to describe non-neurotypical people, especially patients. Fear of being tortured? Normal person. Who doesn't find torture scary? Commented Nov 28, 2016 at 21:40

Pyrophobia doesn’t work for me because while I love fire, I can’t tolerate the thought of anything like frying oil, or something sugar based that’s extremely hot and would stick to your skin. It’s why I don’t fry food or make anything like caramel.

  • 2
    What is the word you would use to answer the question? As it stands, this reads more like a comment. Please take the tour of the site and read the faq, and welcome to EL&U. Stick around and you will be able to leave comments.
    – livresque
    Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 4:56

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