to burn the candle at both ends

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - burn the candle at both ends

"to burn the candle at both ends"

to regularly get up early and stay up late because you are so busy;

extreme effort without time to rest


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - burn the candle at both ends

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  The boss is always the first one in the last one to leave the office.

Colleague 2:  She does tend to burn the candle at both ends. She also cares for her elderly parents when she leaves work.

Colleague 1:  I sure hope she isn't compromising her health working so hard.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - burn the candle at both ends

A couple are talking ...

Wife:  I know we want to get the house ready for sale but I am getting worried about you.

Husband:  Why? Hard work won't kill me.

Wife:  But you are getting up two hours early every morning to work on the house. Then you work all day. Then you come home, eat supper and work until you fall into bed. That level of effort may not kill you but burning the candle at both ends will definitely cause problems eventually.

Husband:  I only have another couple of weeks and the house will be ready.

to burn the candle at both ends - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   129   click for frequency by country

to burn the candle at both ends - Gerund Form:

Burning the candle at both ends can only last so long before a person collapses with exhaustion.

to burn the candle at both ends - Examples:

1)  ... the only way to combat our desire the burn the candle at both ends is to institute a full cultural shift where sleep becomes just as important ...

2)  The problem is when we try to burn the candle at both ends - staying up late and getting up early. 

3)  ... including work and socializing with family and friends. You can't burn the candle at both ends forever, something's got to give.

4)  So often our own expectations or pressure can cause us to burn the candle at both ends. Don't be afraid to say no to commitments when they ...

5)  ... if she feels she is overdoing things: I can't burn the candle at both ends.

6)  ... health is not as robust as you think it is. If you burn the candle at both ends now you will regret it later when your energy takes an unexpected ...

7)  ... need to be working non-stop, workaholism is good, you need to burn the candle at both ends because that's just how it works. 

8)  ... pressure, mistakes are happening so it was important that we didn't burn the candle at both ends with him.

9)  ... people don't get enough sleep. Life today tends to make us burn the candle at both ends. We stay up all night to study, work, fulfil ...

10)  A tired mind is a slow mind, yet at times we entrepreneurs burn the candle at both ends, leaving no room for rest and recuperation. 

11)  ... people in the office on Friday it appeared there were plenty of others burning the candle at both ends too, regardless if they had kids or not.

12)  Some like to boast of burning the candle at both ends. Successful people often brag about how little they sleep.

13)  ... parts of our health - our sleep patterns? We all know how burning the candle at both ends will adversely affect our looks - grey skin, bloodshot eyes, ...

14)  ... the green light from doctors to return to work, his wife is burning the candle at both ends to make up for the loss in income. 

15)  ... at work, but not performing at full capacity due to stress or burning the candle at both ends.

16)  Once the business was set up, I carried on burning the candle at both ends until my body one day gave up on me.

17)  Ah Christmas, a time when burning the candle at both ends can leave us feeling more frazzled than dazzled.

18)  Not so long ago I was really feeling like I was burning the candle at both ends, and my stress levels were through the roof.

19)  ... might see their way through by working hard to get a bursary or burning the candle at both ends by having a low paying job while studying.

20)  She was extremely busy when they adopted children, burning the candle at both ends in order to keep up some scientific work.