American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Something that is carried.
- n. Something that is emotionally difficult to bear.
- n. A source of great worry or stress; weight: The burden of economic sacrifice rests on the workers of the plant.
- n. A responsibility or duty: The burden of organizing the campaign fell to me.
- n. Nautical The amount of cargo that a vessel can carry.
- n. Nautical The weight of the cargo carried by a vessel at one time.
- n. The amount of a disease-causing entity present in an organism.
- v. To weigh down; oppress.
- v. To load or overload.
- n. A principal or recurring idea; a theme: "The burden of what he said was to defend enthusiastically the conservative aristocracy” ( J.A. Froude). See Synonyms at substance.
- n. Music The chorus or refrain of a composition, especially of a 15th-century carol.
- n. Music A drone, as of a bagpipe or pedal point.
- n. Archaic Music The bass accompaniment to a song.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. That which is borne or carried; a load.
- n. Hence That which is borne with labor or difficulty; that which is grievous, wearisome, or oppressive; also, an incumbrance of any kind.
- n. In England, a quantity of certain commodities: as, a burden of gad-steel (that is, 120 or 180 pounds).
- n. The capacity of a ship; the quantity or number of tons of freight a vessel will carry: as, a ship of 600 tons burden.
- n. In mining, the tops or heads of stream-work, overlying the stream of tin, and needing to be first cleansed.
- n. The charge of a blast-furnace.
- To load; lay a heavy load on; encumber with weight.
- Hence Figuratively, to load; oppress with anything which is borne with difficulty or trouble; surcharge: as, to burden a nation with taxes; to burden the memory with details.
- To lay or impose upon one, as a load, burden, or charge.
- n. The act of bearing children; a birth.
- n. The bass in music.
- n. In music: The refrain or recurring chorus at the end of the stanzas of a ballad or song; a refrain.
- n. The drone of a bagpipe. The song to which a dance is danced when there are no instruments.
- n. That which is often repeated; a subject on which one dwells; the main topic: as, this subject was the burden of all his talk.
- n. A club.
- n. A heavy load.
- n. A responsibility, onus.
- n. A cause of worry.
- n. music A phrase or theme that recurs at the end of each verse in a folk song or ballad; the drone of a bagpipe.
- n. obsolete Theme, core idea.
- v. transitive To encumber with a burden (in any of the noun senses of the word).
- n. obsolete A club (weapon).
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. That which is borne or carried; a load.
- n. That which is borne with labor or difficulty; that which is grievous, wearisome, or oppressive.
- n. The capacity of a vessel, or the weight of cargo that she will carry.
- n. (Mining) The tops or heads of stream-work which lie over the stream of tin.
- n. (Metal.) The proportion of ore and flux to fuel, in the charge of a blast furnace.
- n. A fixed quantity of certain commodities.
- n. Obs. & R. A birth.
- v. To encumber with weight (literal or figurative); to lay a heavy load upon; to load.
- v. To oppress with anything grievous or trying; to overload.
- v. rare To impose, as a load or burden; to lay or place as a burden (something heavy or objectionable).
- n. The verse repeated in a song, or the return of the theme at the end of each stanza; the chorus; refrain. Hence: That which is often repeated or which is dwelt upon; the main topic.
- n. The drone of a bagpipe.
- n. obsolete A club.
- v. weight down with a load
- n. an onerous or difficult concern
- n. the central idea that is expanded in a document or discourse
- n. the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
- n. weight to be borne or conveyed
- v. impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to
- See burdon. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English byrthen; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.Variant of bourdon. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He must bear his burden -- the _burden of detection and of punishment_ -- alone.”
“Indeed, much research on carers of ill people already uses the term burden to describe the ill person's needs in relation to the carer without understanding their relationship and questioning the use of a value laden term.”
“Wallace has accepted that the burden is hers; she must care for her son for the rest of her life.”
“Laura Perez Maestro, a 29-year-old journalist at CNN, notes that women are still seen as a burden at work, because of maternity leave which, at 16-weeks, barely warrants the word "burden".”
“I'm sure sending an entire population to another state because Jay thinks they are a burden is the right solution.”
“Right now, the burden is all on the American soldiers.”
“Then what you call a burden to Mr. Wilks, is only a motive to influence his action?”
“I am even thankful for it when I consider how grievous a burden is a heart opprest by injustice & misfortune. our meeting you see is thus deferrd & the melancholy silence of sorrow wears away with me that season appropriated to festivity.”
“That kind of burden is afforded to the accomplish authors.”
“The Alice Ferguson Foundation recently announced an anti-littering campaign that will move some of the burden from the government onto the businesses and people who contribute to littering.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘burden’.
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