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

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 In one of the most liberal cities in the country, and with increasingly burdensome state gun laws, the business of selling firearms had apparently become too exhausting. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "ATF records show how 6 Northern California gun shops ran afoul of the law," 1 July 2018 Then came the 2004 season, which was marked by two controversies that left Cal and Auburn feeling jilted and put the polls that determined their fate in a burdensome position. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "Inside the AP's Fateful 2004 Decision to Withdraw Its Poll From the BCS Formula," 12 July 2018 Democrats and activists are, in effect, saying that returning a prepaid response card is disproportionately burdensome to those constituents. WSJ, "Can Citizenship Require Any Kind of Burden at All?," 14 June 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

18 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!