from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To burden with too much weight; overload.
  • transitive v. To subject to an excessive burden or strain; overtax.
  • n. An excessive burden; an overload.
  • n. Geology Material overlying a useful mineral deposit.
  • n. Geology Sedimentary rock covering older crystalline layers.
  • n. Archaeology A sterile stratum overlying a stratum bearing traces of the culture being studied.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To overload or overtax
  • n. The rock and subsoil that lies above a mineral deposit such as a coal seam.
  • n. A sterile stratum that lies above the stratum being investigated

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The waste which overlies good stone in a quarry.
  • transitive v. To load with too great weight or too much care, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To load with too great burden or weight; overload; overtask: as, trees overburdened with fruit.
  • n. Detrital material or rock which has to be removed, as being of no value, in order to get at some valuable substance beneath, which it is intended to mine or quarry: used in reference to quarrying or excavating clay and similar materials.
  • n. An excessive load; a burden or load greater than should be carried.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. burden with too much work or responsibility
  • v. load with excessive weight
  • n. the surface soil that must be moved away to get at coal seams and mineral deposits
  • n. an excessive burden


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From over- +‎ burden.


  • The earth above, what we call overburden, it's shifting, because when you remove part of the earth underneath, pressure has to go somewhere because it's going to drop.

    CNN Transcript Aug 17, 2007

  • The "overburden" is placed in an adjacent valley fill while workers use enormous equipment to mine the coal.

    Rebecca R. Scott: Almost Heaven or Almost Hell? Fossil Fuels, Paychecks and Nature

  • To the industry, these diverse and ecologically significant forests and wetlands are referred to as overburden, the forest to be stripped and the wetlands dredged and replaced by mines and tailings ponds so vast they can be seen from outer space.

    The Full Feed from

  • Work on the Company's existing long-term overburden removal contract with Canadian Natural could be temporarily affected by a fire that damaged the Horizon Mine's upgrader, however, the customer's initial assessment appears to suggests that the impact on NAEP is expected to be minimal.

  • The decline in activity at Shell was partially offset by increased activity under the Company's long-term overburden contract with Canadian Natural and increased reclamation and overburden activity at both Syncrude and Suncor.

  • Essentially, what you see is the adjustments there in backlog is mainly related to our long-term overburden projects. Home Page

  • Entire Appalachian chains of peaks are being leveled and creeks smothered with "overburden" - all for Great music is also on the agenda, both sanctioned by E-LAW and at venues around Eugene.


  • The mineral reserve is extracted after the overlying material, called overburden is removed.

    Strip mining

  • It had been blocked by a decision by water regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency who were concerned about filling local stream beds with what miners call "overburden" and others call tons of soil and debris.

    NYT > Home Page

  • We know that there were worries of health-care facilities becoming overburden, which is why President Barack Obama declared the Swine Flu a national emergency. - Financial News


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