to burn your bridges

Idiom Definition

"to burn your bridges"

to do or say something (usually bad) that would make it impossible to ever return to that situation or circumstance

Idiom Definition - to burn your bridges


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to burn your bridges

Tom and Jerry are talking about their mutual friend James. James recently lost his job ...

Tom:  I heard that James lost his job.

Jerry:  Ya, but he didn't exactly lose his job.

Tom:  What do you mean?

Jerry:  James had a big fight with his boss.  He called his boss many bad names.  James told his boss that his job was useless and that he would never work for such an idiot again.

Tom:  So, James actually quit his job?

Jerry:  Sure.  Not only did he quit his job, he burned his bridges.

Tom:  Well then, he can never go back to work there.

Jerry:  Yes, poor James.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to burn your bridges

After James quit his job, he went to his local drinking establishment.  James drank a great many drinks and got very drunk.  James got into a fight and he was very abusive to the staff at the bar.  As a result of his behavior, James was banned from every returning to his favorite bar.

Did James burn his bridges at his favorite bar?

What word gives you a clue to the meaning of  "burn your bridges"?

to burn your bridges - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   222   click for frequency by country

to burn your bridges - Gerund Form:

Burning your bridges is not recommended.

to burn your bridges - Examples:

1)  I burn my bridges when I quit my job in anger.

2)  You burn your bridges when you are dishonest in business negotiations.

3)  He burns his bridges when he gossips about his friends.

4)  She burns her bridges when she steals from work.

5)  The company burns its bridges when it does not give a refund on defective products.

6)  We burn our bridges when we walk off the playing field.

7)  You (all) burn your bridges when you have an affair on your wives.

8)  They burn their bridges when they quit school without notice.

9)  Establish good relationships and don't burn your bridges.

10)  Rent a property before buying a home and don't burn your bridges until you're certain that you have made the correct decision.

11)  When you do business, you never burn your bridges.

12)  But she also doesn't want to burn any bridges because she says she did a good job for them.

13)  You never know what the future will hold so don't burn any bridges.

14)  Walk away in a professional manner so you don't burn any bridges.

15) You'll want to make sure you don't burn any bridges during the tendering process. 

16) The fact that our beloved captain could be so callous and so carelessly burn his bridges with the club. 

17)  That decision not to burn his bridges behind him was good thinking and it paid off.

18) He sure managed to burn his bridges in the event his current employer makes another round of job cuts. 

19)  I've been careful not to burn my bridges, but in hindsight I wish I'd kicked up more of a fuss.

20)  Not being willing to burn my bridges with IBM, I asked them for a one year leave of absence.