\ ˈlōd How to pronounce load (audio) \

Definition of load

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the quantity that can be carried at one time by a specified means especially : a measured quantity of a commodity fixed for each type of carrier often used in combination a boatload of tourists
b : whatever is put on a person or pack animal to be carried : pack donkeys with heavy loads
c : whatever is put in a ship or vehicle or airplane for conveyance : cargo The ship was carrying a load of automobiles. especially : a quantity of material assembled or packed as a shipping unit
2a : a mass or weight supported by something branches bent low by their load of fruit
b : the forces to which a structure is subjected due to superposed weight or to wind pressure on the vertical surfaces broadly : the forces to which a given object is subjected Losing weight will lessen the load on your knees.
3a : something that weighs down the mind or spirits took a load off her mind
b : a burdensome or laborious responsibility always carried his share of the load
4 slang : an intoxicating amount of liquor drunk
5 : a large quantity : lot usually used in plural The boy had loads of toys.
6a : a charge for a firearm
b : the quantity of material loaded into a device at one time
7 : external resistance overcome by a machine or prime mover
8a : power output (as of a power plant) or power consumption (as by a device)
b : a device to which power is delivered
9a(1) : the amount of work that a person carries or is expected to carry his heavy load of day-to-day workNew York Times
(2) : the amount of authorized work to be performed by a machine, a group, a department, or a factory The washer can take a 10-pound load.
b : the demand on the operating resources of a system (such as a telephone exchange or a refrigerating apparatus)
10 slang : eyeful used in the phrase get a load of Get a load of his new car.
11 : the amount of a deleterious or pathogenic agent, growth, or substance present in a human or animal body or test sample (as of blood or tissue) Recent advances in our knowledge about how HIV replicates sprang from new technology able to measure viral load—the level of HIV—in the blood. … The higher a person's viral load, the faster he or she gets sick.Discover In patients with a heavy hepatic tumor load, liver transplantation may prolong useful life.Scientific American Medicine Bulletin Over time the worm load will damage the heart, shortening the dog's life.— Susan Sharpe

called also burden

12 : an amount added (as to the price of a security or the net premium in insurance) to represent selling expense and profit to the distributor


loaded; loading; loads

Definition of load (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put a load in or on load a truck
b : to place in or on a means of conveyance load freight
2a : to encumber or oppress with something heavy, laborious, or disheartening : burden a company loaded down with debts
b : to place as a burden or obligation load more work on him
3a : to increase the weight of by adding something heavy
b : to add a conditioning substance (such as a mineral salt) to for body
c : to weight or shape (dice) to fall unfairly
d : to pack with one-sided or prejudicial influences : bias
e : to charge with multiple meanings (such as emotional associations or hidden implications)
f : to weight (something, such as a test) with factors influencing validity or outcome
4a : to supply in abundance or excess : heap, pack
b : to put runners on (first, second, and third bases) in baseball
5a : to put a load or charge in (a device or piece of equipment) load a gun
b : to place or insert especially as a load in a device or piece of equipment load film in a camera
c : to copy or transfer (something, such as a program or data) into the memory of a digital device (such as a computer) especially from an external source (such as a disk drive or the Internet) Load a new program or game onto your hard disk, and you must run an installation program that decompresses the information held on the floppy disks— Paul C. Schuytema
d : to put a supply of funds or resources into (an account, a gift card, etc.) She was told to go to the Dollar General Store and load a Google Play gift card with $100.The Times Reporter (New Philadelphia, Ohio)
6 : to alter (something, such as an alcoholic drink) by adding an adulterant or drug
7a : to add a load to (an insurance premium)
b : to add a sum to after profits and expenses are accounted for loaded prices

intransitive verb

1 : to receive a load
2 : to put a load on or in a carrier, device, or container especially : to insert the charge or cartridge in the chamber of a firearm
3 : to go or go in as a load tourists loading onto a bus
4 : to become loaded into a computer's memory the program loads quickly
load up on
1 : to ingest in usually large amounts senators loading up on fried chicken and champagne— H. L. Mencken
2 : to acquire in usually large amounts loaded up on hot stocks

Other Words from load


loader noun

Examples of load in a Sentence

Noun He lifted the load onto his shoulders. She was carrying a heavy load of legal documents in her briefcase. He picked up a load of firewood and carried it into the house. The truck was carrying a full load of sand. Losing weight will lessen the load on your knees. His death is a heavy load to bear. Verb load a truck with packages Workers were loading and unloading the ships as they came into port. We loaded up and drove off. load packages on a truck We loaded our luggage in the car and drove off. Workers were loading cargo on the ships. She loaded the table with all kinds of delicious foods. load a tape into the VCR The film didn't load properly. The bus stopped to load a few more passengers. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the company’s stock, which hit a high of $13.18 in October, has fallen to under $5 a share partly because the company continues to operate at a loss and is still on the hook for a $2.4 billion load of debt, due in 2025, analysts say. Rebecca Picciotto, WSJ, 2 Aug. 2022 In terms of features, this machine has an automatic needle threader and easy-load drop-in bobbin system, plus a heavy-duty metal frame that delivers skip-free sewing. Camryn Rabideau, Popular Mechanics, 1 Aug. 2022 This tailgate can also lock itself in the midway position, similar to what the Ford Maverick compact pickup does, to help flat-load items (up to 500 pounds) such as sheets of wood or drywall into the bed. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 28 July 2022 Unlike most days, when the Dodgers’ superstar trio typically carries the offensive load, the Nos. 4 to 7 batters in the order provided the most offensive fireworks. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2022 In July 1693, a large Spanish galleon set sail from the Philippines with a full cargo load of Asian luxury goods, including silk, porcelain and beeswax. New York Times, 12 July 2022 Our favorite top-load washer is the Maytag Smart Capable Top Load Washing Machine thanks to its quiet operation and variety of wash cycle options. Barbara Bellesi Zito, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 July 2022 But because the car put a brief, massive load on the electrical grid, the station operator would still have to pay the full demand charge for that month. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 12 July 2022 For a no-load tax-exempt mutual fund, look no further than Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group. William Baldwin, Forbes, 1 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb His mother only had enough time to load up their horses and escape the area, Smith said, while his father was busy working on the fire as a Mariposa County sheriff's deputy. Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN, 25 July 2022 Carolyn answers are about how to properly load a dishwasher and whether pre-rinsing is really necessary (often to settle the all-too-common marital and family spats). Carolyn Forté, Good Housekeeping, 13 July 2022 The bullet was easier to load and more aerodynamic than previous designs. Phil Klay, The New Yorker, 11 June 2022 So stock up on bug spray, load up your lawn chairs, and register here. Liliana Webb, Detroit Free Press, 10 June 2022 According to research conducted by KissMetrics, if a website takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of the visitors will abandon it. Marius Vetrici, Forbes, 10 June 2022 Buy a rack, put it on your car, load up your bikes, and drive. Kylee Mcguigan, Popular Mechanics, 8 June 2022 Civale pitched around Byron Buxton, who started the game with his 10th homer of the season, to load the bases and induced a 4-6-3 double play from Luis Arraez. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 13 May 2022 This one is easy to load and offers unmatched customization in the safety-razor category, thanks to a dial that adjusts how much of the blade peeks beyond the head of the razor, sort of like a set of clippers at the barbershop. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 9 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of load


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for load

Noun and Verb

Middle English lod, from Old English lād support, carrying — more at lode

Learn More About load

Time Traveler for load

Time Traveler

The first known use of load was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near load



load-bearing tile

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Statistics for load

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Load.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/load. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for load


\ ˈlōd How to pronounce load (audio) \

Kids Definition of load

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something lifted up and carried : burden
2 : the quantity of material put into a device at one time He washed a load of clothes.
3 : a large number or amount They collected loads of candy on Halloween.
4 : a mass or weight supported by something
5 : something that causes worry or sadness That's a load off my mind.
6 : a charge for a firearm


loaded; loading

Kids Definition of load (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a load in or on They loaded the truck.
2 : to supply abundantly Newspapers loaded her with praise.
3 : to put something into a device so it can be used You have to load film into the camera.

Other Words from load

loader noun


\ ˈlōd How to pronounce load (audio) \

Medical Definition of load

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a mass or weight put on something
b : the amount of stress put on something this normal instinctive fear which adds its load to the nervous system— H. G. Armstrong
c : an amount of something (as food or water) added to the body or available for use in some physiological process the cell's response to an increased metabolic loadEmergency Medicine
2 : the number or quantity (as of patients) to be accommodated or treated the patient load of physicians in private practiceJournal of the American Medical Association
3 : the amount of a deleterious microorganism, parasite, growth, or substance present in a human or animal body measure viral load in the blood the worm load in rats

called also burden


transitive verb

Medical Definition of load (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a load in or on rabbits were loaded with … pyruvate by intravenous injectionsExperiment Station Record
2 : to weight (as a test or experimental situation) with factors influencing validity or outcome
3 : to change by adding an adulterant or drug patent medicines were loaded with narcotics— D. W. Maurer & V. H. Vogel



Legal Definition of load

: an amount added (as to the price of a security or the net premium in insurance) to represent selling expense and profit to the distributor — compare no-load

More from Merriam-Webster on load

Nglish: Translation of load for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of load for Arabic Speakers


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