1

burden

play
noun bur·den \ˈbər-dən\

Definition of burden

  1. 1a :  something that is carried :  load dropped his burden of firewoodb :  duty, responsibility forced to bear the burden of caring for her aging parents lowering the tax burden on the middle class

  2. 2 :  something oppressive or worrisome a heavy burden of guilt was a huge financial burden on his family

  3. 3a :  the bearing of a load —usually used in the phrase beast of burdenb :  capacity for carrying cargo a ship of a hundred tons burden

  4. 4 :  load 11 worm burdens of cattle cancer burden

Origin and Etymology of burden

Middle English, from Old English byrthen; akin to Old English beran to carry — more at bear


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

burden

verb bur·den

Definition of burden

burdened

;

burdening

play \ˈbərd-niŋ, ˈbər-dən-iŋ\
  1. transitive verb
  2. :  load, oppress I will not burden you with a lengthy account.

Examples of burden in a Sentence

  1. I don't wish to burden you with my problems.

  2. burdened the dog with a little backpack

Origin and Etymology of burden

see 1burden


First Known Use: 1541


3

burden

noun bur·den

Definition of burden

  1. 1 archaic :  a bass or accompanying part I would sing my song without a burden; thou bringest me out of tune — Shakespeare

  2. 2a :  chorus, refrainb :  a central topic :  theme the burden of the argument

Origin and Etymology of burden

Middle English burdoun, from Anglo-French burdun a drone bass, of imitative origin


First Known Use: 14th century



BURDEN Defined for English Language Learners

2

burden

verb bur·den

Definition of burden for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) hold or carry something heavy or accept or deal with something difficult : to put a heavy burden on (someone)


BURDEN Defined for Kids

1

burden

play
noun bur·den \ˈbər-dən\

Definition of burden for Students

  1. 1 :  something carried :  load

  2. 2 :  something that is hard to take a heavy burden of sorrow

  3. 3 :  the capacity of a ship for carrying cargo a vessel of fifty tons burden


2

burden

play
verb bur·den

Definition of burden for Students

burdened

;

burdening

  1. 1 :  to have a heavy load or put a heavy load on

  2. 2 :  to cause to have to deal with He is burdened with responsibilities.


Medical Dictionary

burden

play
noun bur·den \ˈbərd-ən\

Medical Definition of burden

  1. :  load 3 worm burden cancer burden


Law Dictionary

burden

noun bur·den

Legal Definition of burden

  1. 1 :  something that is a duty, obligation, or responsibility the prosecution has the burden of proving every element of the offense the statute imposes undue burdens burden of pleading the necessary elements

  2. 2 :  burden of proof



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up burden? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to give up a position of power

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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