Definition of Burden

1. Noun. An onerous or difficult concern. "That's a load off my mind"

Exact synonyms: Encumbrance, Incumbrance, Load, Onus
Generic synonyms: Concern, Headache, Vexation, Worry
Specialized synonyms: Dead Weight, Fardel, Imposition, Pill

2. Verb. Weight down with a load.
Exact synonyms: Burthen, Weight, Weight Down
Specialized synonyms: Overburden, Plumb, Saddle
Generic synonyms: Charge
Antonyms: Unburden
Derivative terms: Burthen, Weight

3. Noun. Weight to be borne or conveyed.
Exact synonyms: Load, Loading
Specialized synonyms: Burthen, Dead Load, Live Load, Superload, Millstone, Overburden, Overload, Overload
Generic synonyms: Weight
Derivative terms: Load, Load

4. Verb. Impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to. "He charged her with cleaning up all the files over the weekend"
Exact synonyms: Charge, Saddle
Specialized synonyms: Overburden, Bear Down, Deluge, Flood Out, Overwhelm, Adjure
Generic synonyms: Command, Require
Derivative terms: Charge

5. Noun. The central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work.
Exact synonyms: Core, Effect, Essence, Gist
Generic synonyms: Import, Meaning, Significance, Signification

6. Noun. The central idea that is expanded in a document or discourse.
Generic synonyms: Idea, Thought

Definition of Burden

1. n. That which is borne or carried; a load.

2. v. t. To encumber with weight (literal or figurative); to lay a heavy load upon; to load.

3. 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; as, the burden of a prayer.

4. n. A club.

Definition of Burden

1. Noun. A heavy load. ¹

2. Noun. A responsibility, onus. ¹

3. Noun. A cause of worry. ¹

4. Noun. (music) A phrase or theme that recurs at the end of each verse in a folk song or ballad; the drone of a bagpipe. ¹

5. Noun. (obsolete) Theme, core idea. ¹

6. Verb. (transitive) To encumber with a burden (''in any of the noun senses of the word''). ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Burden

1. to load heavily [v -ED, -ING, -S]

Medical Definition of Burden

1. 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. The tops or heads of stream-work which lie over the stream of tin. 5. 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. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Burden

burden (current term)
burden of persuasion
burden of production
burden of proof
burdens of proof

Literary usage of Burden

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. United States Supreme Court Reports by Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Company, United States Supreme Court (1887)
"The burden of proving a loss of this kind is on the plaintiff. ... The burden of proof is on the plaintiff in this case, to show, by a fair preponderance of ..."

2. The Chief Elizabethan Dramatists, Excluding Shakespeare by William Allan Neilson (1911)
"Were you not yesterday, Master burden, at Henley upon the Thames ? Hard. ... What say you to this, Master burden ? Doth he not touch you ? ..."

3. Transactions by American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1912)
"1326 EXPENSE burden: ITS INCIDENCE AND DISTRIBUTION By Sterling H. Bunnell, New York ( Member of the Society As the various problems of engineering design ..."

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