Dictionary > Burden


1. To encumber with weight (literal or figurative); to lay a heavy load upon; to load. I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened. (2 cor. Viii. 13)
2. To oppress with anything grievous or trying; to overload; as, to burden a nation with taxes. My burdened heart would break. (Shak)
3. To impose, as a load or burden; to lay or place as a burden (something heavy or objectionable). It is absurd to burden this act on Cromwell. (Coleridge)
Synonym: to load, encumber, overload, oppress.
Origin: Burdened; Burdening.
1. That which is borne or carried; a load. Plants with goodly burden bowing. (Shak)
2. That which is borne with labour or difficulty; that which is grievous, wearisome, or oppressive. Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone, to all my friends a burden grown. (Swift)
3. The capacity of a vessel, or the weight of cargo that she will carry; as, a ship of a hundred tons burden.
4. (Science: chemical) The tops or heads of stream-work which lie over the stream of tin.
5. (Science: chemistry) The proportion of ore and flux to fuel, in the charge of a blast furnace.
6. A fixed quantity of certain commodities; as, a burden of gad steel, 120 pounds.
7. A birth. Beast of burden, an animal employed in carrying burdens. Burden of proof, the duty of proving a particular position in a court of law, a failure in the performance of which duty calls for judgment against the party on whom the duty is imposed.
Synonym: burden, load.
a burden is, in the literal sense, a weight to be borne; a load is something laid upon us to be carried. Hence, when used figuratively, there is usually a difference between the two words. Our burdens may be of such a nature that we feel bound to bear them cheerfully or without complaint. They may arise from the nature of our situation; they may be allotments of Providence; they may be the consequences of our errors. What is upon us, as a load, we commonly carry with greater reluctance or sense of oppression. Men often find the charge of their own families to be a burden; but if to this be added a load of care for others, the pressure is usually serve and irksome.
Origin: oe. Burden, burthen, birthen, birden, as. Byrthen; akin to Icel. Byrthi, dan. Byrde, Sw. Borda, g. Burde, OHG. Burdi, goth. Baorei, fr. The root of E. Bear, as. Beran, goth. Bairan. 92. See 1st bear.