bur·​den·​some ˈbər-dᵊn-səm How to pronounce burdensome (audio)
: imposing or constituting a burden : oppressive
burdensome restrictions
Choose the Right Synonym for burdensome

onerous, burdensome, oppressive, exacting mean imposing hardship.

onerous stresses being laborious and heavy especially because distasteful.

the onerous task of cleaning up the mess

burdensome suggests causing mental as well as physical strain.

burdensome responsibilities

oppressive implies extreme harshness or severity in what is imposed.

the oppressive tyranny of a police state

exacting implies rigor or sternness rather than tyranny or injustice in the demands made or in the one demanding.

an exacting employer

Examples of burdensome in a Sentence

The responsibility has become burdensome. the burdensome living conditions that the early settlers had to endure
Recent Examples on the Web The major predicament for contemporary Jews of all varieties, in his view, is not that the struggle for meaning and self-justification is too burdensome or intractable. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 15 Feb. 2024 But other rules also block green power: burdensome limits on size, height or locations. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 4 Feb. 2024 Subjecting buildings that are 45-years or older to historical evaluation is unnecessarily burdensome. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Jan. 2024 The invite came after Sheriff Paul Penzone mentioned burdensome federal oversight in his resignation announcement. The Arizona Republic, 18 Jan. 2024 Those burdensome things didn’t endear him to many and with him now a distant memory, the page can be turned on a chapter that wound up having more of a horror show vibe than a feel-good script. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 9 Feb. 2024 According to the November 2023 study, this could mean nylon 6 products wouldn’t have to be sorted through a burdensome recycling process before being broken down. Cameron Pugh, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Jan. 2024 When compared to the rest of the Midwest, Illinois has more widespread and more burdensome occupational-licensing requirements than other states, according to The Institute for Justice. Josh Bandoch, National Review, 18 Dec. 2023 People debate the pros and cons of our country’s federal system to this day, but there’s one thing nobody can deny: Our system of local taxation has created a tremendously complex, and burdensome, environment in which to do business. Scott McFarlane, Fortune, 15 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'burdensome.' 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

1578, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of burdensome was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near burdensome

Cite this Entry

“Burdensome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burdensome. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


bur·​den·​some ˈbərd-ᵊn-səm How to pronounce burdensome (audio)
: so heavy or hard to take as to be a burden
burdensomeness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on burdensome

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