load

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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.
3
a
: 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.
6
a
: 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
8
a
: power output (as of a power plant) or power consumption (as by a device)
b
: a device to which power is delivered
9
a(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
13

load

2 of 2

verb

loaded; loading; loads

transitive verb

1
a
: to put a load in or on (a vehicle, animal, etc.)
load a truck with packages
workers loading a ship
often used with up
We loaded up the car with all of our gear.
b
: to place (someone or something) in or on a means of conveyance
load cargo/passengers
We loaded the kids into the car.
2
a
: to encumber or oppress (someone or something) with something heavy, laborious, or disheartening : burden
a company loaded down with debts
b
: to place (something) as a burden or obligation
load more work on him
3
a(1)
: to place or be a material weight or physical stress on (something)
Grapes loaded down the vines.
… without that extra weight in the bed to load the springs and plant the tires on the road, the rear end of the unloaded pickup is free to hop about at will.Slaton L. White
(2)
: to increase the weight of (something) by adding something heavy
… the cranes were mounted to a steel plate that was secured to the basement floor and loaded with ballast.Richard High
b
technical : to add a substance (such as a mineral salt) to (something) to improve a property (such as texture or fullness)
… a method for preparing loaded paper pulp for use in the manufacture of paper …Targeted News Service
c
: to weight or shape (dice) to fall unfairly
d
: to fill (something) with one-sided or prejudicial influences : bias
Large EU states have served notice that they want to alter the majority voting quotas which load the system in favour of smaller states.The Times (London)
see also loaded sense 4b
e
: to charge (words, questions, etc.) with multiple meanings (such as emotional associations or hidden implications)
Sometimes, however, intensity loads a word to such an extent that it needs explaining.Lidia Vianu
see also loaded sense 4a
f
: to weight (something, such as a test or survey) with factors influencing validity or outcome
… the phrasing of the options was so heavily loaded in favor of closure that it had no research value.Tom Kaliche
4
a
: to supply (someone or something) in abundance or excess : heap, pack
load visitors with gifts
loaded their plates with food
often used with up
After visiting the camp, Ross and Norton … loaded him up with sandwiches.Matt Byrne
b
: to put runners on (first, second, and third bases) in baseball
The pitcher loaded the bases by walking three batters.
5
a
: to put a load or charge in (a device or piece of equipment)
load a gun
b
: to place or insert (something) especially as a load in a device or piece of equipment
loaded the clothes into the washing machine
load film in a camera
c
: to cause (a program, data, etc.) to be copied or transferred (as from the Internet or a disk drive) into memory for use or display on a digital device
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
7
a
: to add a load to (an insurance premium)
b
: to add a sum to (something, such as a selling price) after profits and expenses are accounted for

intransitive verb

1
: to receive a load
waited while the truck finished loading
2
: to put a load on or in a carrier, device, or container
specifically : to insert the charge or cartridge in the chamber of a firearm
… eight men manning gaps between the wagons were trained to fire and load in rotation. Richard Rhys Jones
3
: to go or go in as a load
tourists loading onto a bus
4
: to become copied or transferred (as from the Internet or a disk drive) into memory for use or display on a digital device
The app loads quickly.
One of the images won't load.
loader noun
Phrases
load up on
1
: to ingest in usually large amounts
… I found a dozen or more United States senators loading up on fried chicken and champagne.H. L. Mencken
2
: to acquire in usually large amounts
loaded up on hot stocks

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The tortilla did start to fall apart a bit on me because there was a heavy load of juicy lamb meat inside . Carlos Rico, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 May 2024 The feud has birthed a load of memes, catchy hooks and social media banter. Bob Mehr, USA TODAY, 11 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for load 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'load.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near load

Cite this Entry

“Load.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/load. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

load

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: something taken up and carried
b
: the amount that can be carried at one time
10 loads of sand
often used in combination
a boatload of tourists
2
: a mass or weight supported by something
the load on a column
3
: something that depresses the mind or spirits
a load of care
4
: a large quantity : lot
usually used in plural
had loads of fun
5
: a charge for a firearm
6
a
: amount of work done or expected to be done
b
: the demand upon the ability of a system to produce what it is meant to produce
the load on an engine
7
slang : a good look : a full view
used in the phrase get a load of

load

2 of 2 verb
1
a
: to put a load in or on
load a truck
load a gun
loaded my arms with books
b
: to place a weight or burden on
vines loaded down with grapes
load more work on him
c
: to supply abundantly
load a person with honors
d
: to put runners on (first, second, and third base) in baseball
the pitcher loaded the bases by walking three batters
e
: to fill with an often unfair appeal to the emotions
load a question
loaded words
f
: to put something like a load into
load a camera with film
load a disk drive
2
a
: to put or place in, on, or into something as or as if a load
load wood on a truck
load film into a camera
b
: to copy or transfer into a computer's memory
load a program
loader noun

Medical Definition

load

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: 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 systemH. 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 practiceThe Journal 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

4

load

2 of 2 transitive verb
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 narcoticsD. W. Maurer & V. H. Vogel

Legal Definition

load

noun
: 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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