beast of burden

noun phrase

: an animal employed to carry heavy loads or to perform other heavy work (such as pulling a plow)

Examples of beast of burden in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While South American llamas are beasts of burden that haul bushels of corn through the mountainside, North American ones are more apt to be fussed-over pets that are shampooed regularly and rented out as photogenic wedding guests or even golf caddies. Jennifer A. Kingson Peter Fisher, New York Times, 14 Oct. 2023 Releasing your first album in 18 years is a beast of burden — so the Rolling Stones got some help. Vulture, 28 Sep. 2023 The image of the burro as a miner’s faithful beast of burden contrasts starkly with ecological reality, experts say. Louis Sahagún, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2023 Immigrants are being treated like beasts of burden. Chandelis Duster, CNN, 27 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beast of burden.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1740, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of beast of burden was in 1740

Dictionary Entries Near beast of burden

Cite this Entry

“Beast of burden.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition

beast of burden

: an animal (as an ox or horse) used for carrying or pulling heavy loads

More from Merriam-Webster on beast of burden

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!