\ˈlōd \

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 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

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

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Other Words from load


loader noun

Examples of load in a Sentence


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.


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The biggest recent collapse was that of Kingfisher Airlines, India’s second-largest carrier, which went bust in 2012 under a heavy debt load after years of losses. Doug Cameron, WSJ, "Small Airlines Stall on High Fuel Costs," 12 Nov. 2018 Get a load of that molding splattered with fake blood! Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Can You Guess How Much These Classic Horror-Film Houses Cost?," 30 Oct. 2018 Pillows will take longer to dry than a normal load of clothes. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Pillows the Right Way," 17 Oct. 2018 The Chiron uses 339 different Technic elements, many of which are used as load-bearing components. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "LEGO built a drivable Bugatti Chiron out of a million pieces of Technic," 30 Aug. 2018 The Vulture takes off with his jetpack, flying around the building and slicing through its load-bearing pillars, causing it to collapse. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "How Spider-Man: Homecoming paid homage to Steve Ditko," 7 July 2018 It’s Independence Day week, and there are loads of opportunities for fireworks and other patriotic activities at Orlando’s theme parks and attractions. Dewayne Bevil, OrlandoSentinel.com, "How theme parks are celebrating July 4th," 2 July 2018 Sam Hunt There are loads of country artists fusing country, pop, rock and hip-hop. John Adamian, courant.com, "From Sam Hunt And Reba To U2 And King X: A Week Of Big-Name Concerts," 23 June 2018 Around the world, there are loads of laws that make women vulnerable to extreme abuse in marital relationships. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "On Sending Women Home to Die," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Soybeans to be loaded in August at the nation’s Paranagua port fetched $2.21 a bushel more than Chicago futures on Thursday, the widest gap since data starts in 2014. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Why Trump's Trade War Is a Huge Gift to Brazilian Farmers," 6 July 2018 Then, late one night in June 2015, just a few days after B’s made Southern Living’s coveted list of the South’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints, a soda machine faultily loaded with too much freon exploded. Hilary Cadigan, Bon Appetit, "The Unmistakable Bryan Furman, Georgia’s New King of Barbecue," 25 June 2018 One is that Ford, knowing Akecheta was headed there and had expressed a hope of finding his wife, pre-loaded a copy of her into the Valley. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Westworld Season 3—Everything We Know So Far," 25 June 2018 There is nothing more irritating than strapping your children into the car, loading it with your stuff, then realizing a door is open. PEOPLE.com, "Siri Daly's Blog: Making a Case for Why Minivans Do Not Suck When You're a Mom of Three," 14 June 2018 Last year, his companies bought seven properties from James Herrick, the River Hills millionaire and Robert W. Baird Inc. executive, who rented out dilapidated central city properties loaded with building code violations. Kevin Crowe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'He'll evict you in a minute.' Landlord quietly becomes a force in Milwaukee rental business...and eviction court," 13 July 2018 The club’s video room hummed with computers loaded with clips that could reveal pitchers’ tendencies to the percentile. Ben Reiter, SI.com, "Why Carlos Beltrán Was the Perfect Addition to Aid the Astros' Journey to the World Series," 9 July 2018 That would be enough for dinner back in Roxborough, but not enough to fulfill Zajko’s insatiable appetite for constant action and heavy coolers loaded with fish. Jason Nark, Philly.com, "Roxborough man wants to catch Pennsylvania's biggest fish, anywhere, anytime," 8 July 2018 An eastbound semitrailer truck loaded with apples and an SUV were slowing for the merging traffic when the truck struck the SUV and pushed it into another semi. John Sowell, idahostatesman, "Contractor herding traffic near fiery I-84 crash had safety plan. Here's what it said," 29 June 2018

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.

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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


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


see load entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near load





load-bearing tile

load binder

load chart

Statistics for load

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for load

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

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More Definitions for load



Financial Definition of load

What It Is

A load is a fee paid to purchase or sell a specific investment. It is expressed as a percentage of the amount invested. The term is most often used when discussing mutual funds.

How It Works

In general, there are two kinds of loads: front-end loads and back-end loads. A front-end load is a fee paid to purchase an investment, and a back-end load is a fee paid to sell an investment (it may also be called a contingent deferred sales charge, an exit fee, or a redemption charge). A no-load fund is one that does not charge any fees of this type.

Let's assume you are interested in making a $10,000 investment in the Company XYZ mutual fund. If the fund has a 4% front-end load, then of the $10,000 investment, $400 ($10,000 x .04) is paid to the fund company and $9,600 is actually invested in the fund as a result. Ideally, the earnings from the investment should more than make up for the front-end load. In this example, the front-end loaded fund must return 14.6% in one year to reach $11,000 in value after the fee.

If the fund instead has a 4% back-end load, then you must pay a $400 fee upon the sale of the investment ($10,000 x .04). Again, the earnings from the investment should ideally more than make up for the back-end load. In this example, the back-end loaded fund must therefore return 14% in one year to reach $11,000 in value after the fee.

Clearly, the size of the load affects the size of the investor's return. In our example, if the Company XYZ fund is a no-load fund, then in order to reach $11,000 in value after one year, it only needs to generate a 10% return.

Front-end loads vary widely and may apply to reinvestments of dividends, interest, or capital gain. This mutual funds are often referred to as A Shares. When looking at mutual fund trading information, front-end loaded mutual funds will have ask prices that are greater than the fund's net asset value (or bid price). The ask price equals the fund's net asset value plus the front-end load.

Back-end loads are commonly assessed on the beginning value of the investment, although some companies calculate the fee on the ending value if it is lower than the original purchase price. Back-end load mutual funds are often referred to as B Shares. Generally, back-end loads are reduced for each year the investor holds the investment. If the investor holds the investment long enough, many funds waive the back-end fee. For example, a back-end fee might be 5% in the first year, 4% in the second year, and so forth until the fee is zero.

Frequently, investors are able to pay reduced loads if they make large investments. The amount that qualifies for a reduced load is called the breakpoint and varies from investment to investment. Some funds may have more than one breakpoint. In some cases, an investor can sign a letter of intent with the investment company, promising to invest a certain amount over time in order to qualify for the reduced load now.

Why It Matters

Loads discourage investors from frequently trading their mutual fund shares, an activity that requires funds to have considerable amounts of cash on hand rather than invested. Generally, however, a load is considered payment for the broker's expertise in selecting the right fund for the investor. Notably, there is considerable controversy about whether load funds perform better or worse than no-load funds.

Loads are most often associated with mutual funds, but annuities, life insurance policies, and limited partnerships may also have loads. Mutual funds must disclose loads and other fees in their prospectuses, and it is important to understand that a load is only one of several types of fees that may be charged. Thus, when comparing investments, investors should be careful to evaluate all fees associated with an investment, not just the size of the load.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of load

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is lifted and carried

: an amount that can be carried at one time : an amount that fills something (such as a truck)

: the weight that is carried or supported by something



English Language Learners Definition of load (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put an amount of something in or on (something)

: to put (an amount of something) into or onto something

: to supply (someone or something) with a large amount of something


\ˈlōd \

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

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\ˈlōd \

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

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

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Comments on load

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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