bur·​den·​some | \ˈbər-dᵊn-səm \

Definition of burdensome 

: imposing or constituting a burden : oppressive burdensome restrictions

Keep scrolling for more

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

Others were buried with only a few other unknown soldiers, so DNA identification wouldn’t be too burdensome, the plaintiffs argue. Brian Contreras, San Antonio Express-News, "Lawsuit: We know identities of ‘unknown’ soldiers," 27 June 2018 Justice Thomas said those requirements, which can require notices in as many as 13 languages, were too burdensome. Adam Liptak, New York Times, "Supreme Court Backs Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers in Free Speech Case," 26 June 2018 Most often their problem is feeling profoundly unworthy, profoundly depressed and profoundly burdensome to others. NBC News, "Why mental health advocates use the words 'died by suicide'," 6 June 2018 Kentucky was the first state to try to impose these burdensome requirements, which were thankfully blocked by a federal court last week. Stephanie Glover, STAT, "We need another July 4 uprising to protect women’s health," 6 July 2018 During a run-in with Russell at the royal premiere of Backdraft in London, Diana confided in Kurt about how burdensome being chased down by those officious cameramen had become. Brie Schwartz, Redbook, "Princess Diana and Her Boys Considered Kurt Russell's Home a Sanctuary," 19 Jan. 2016 Builders must cope with burdensome regulations and antiquated zoning laws. The Economist, "Why Arab states have lots of expensive villas," 14 June 2018 The standards had been made official late in the Obama presidency, but the Trump administration claimed that the standards were too burdensome for automakers to adhere to. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Utilities, Tesla appeal federal rollback of auto emissions standards," 18 May 2018 The pitch sounds a bit like a Hunger Games for the modern age: A new game show in which student loan borrowers compete against each other for the chance to wipe out burdensome debts. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "New TruTV Game Show Lets Student Borrowers Compete to Tame Their Debt," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burdensome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of burdensome

1578, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about burdensome

Share burdensome

Statistics for burdensome

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for burdensome

The first known use of burdensome was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for burdensome



English Language Learners Definition of burdensome

: causing difficulty or worry


bur·​den·​some | \ˈbər-dᵊn-səm \

Kids Definition of burdensome

: so heavy or hard to take as to be a burden

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on burdensome

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


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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