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onus

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noun \ˈō-nəs\

Simple Definition of onus

  • : the responsibility for something

Full Definition of onus

  1. 1 [Latin — more at onerous] a :  burden b :  a disagreeable necessity :  obligation c :  blame d :  stigma

  2. 2 [New Latin onus (probandi), literally, burden of proving] :  burden of proof

Examples of onus

  1. Consumers should be able to limit the use of information beyond what's essential to complete a transaction. There are two principal ways to do this: Web sites can permit them to “opt in,” or explicitly grant advance permission to share information. Or they can put the onus on consumers to “opt out” if they don't want information shared. —Consumer Reports, May 2000

  2. These laws got the regulatory ball rolling, but the onus was on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that additives were safe. —Amy Rosenbaum Clark, Vegetarian Times, March 1995

  3. It is not the scions of Yale and Harvard who apply to become FBI agents and construction workers and civil servants and cops who bear the onus of this reverse discrimination. —Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post, 9-15 Mar. 1992

  4. <hoping to avoid the onus of failure by lowering expectations ahead of time>

  5. <he perpetually tries to shift the onus for any mistakes onto other team members>



Circa 1640

First Known Use of onus

circa 1640

Rhymes with onus



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