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 work New 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
load a truck
b
: to place in or on a means of conveyance
load freight
2
a
: 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
3
a
: 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
4
a
: to supply in abundance or excess : heap, pack
b
: to put runners on (first, second, and third bases) in baseball
5
a
: 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
7
a
: 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
loader noun
Phrases
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

Example Sentences

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
The plane was full Sunday, but if the load had been unbalanced that should have been clear on takeoff. Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Sep. 2022 The highest electrical load ever drained by Californians was 50,270 megawatts on July 24, 2006. Matthias Gafni, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Sep. 2022 And the average student debt load is about $36,000, which means that Biden's plan only covers a portion of the typical borrower's outstanding loans. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 25 Aug. 2022 As a consequence, the average student debt load on graduation is more than $30,000, and the average student debt-to-income ratio is 55 percent. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 24 Aug. 2022 But the debt load involved in JetBlue Airways' planned merger with Spirit Airlines isn't the only reason S&P Global Ratings is casting a skeptical eye on the deal. WSJ, 2 Aug. 2022 The load carrying capacity modification labels are incorrect. Detroit Free Press, 26 July 2022 The load carrying capacity modification labels are incorrect. USA TODAY, 22 July 2022 The Tennessee Valley Authority reports Monday’s peak system load was 31,311 megawatts at 5 p.m. at a regional average temp of 94 degrees. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 14 June 2022
Verb
Low water levels in the Mississippi River mean the barges many of them normally load their product onto are not in operation, forcing the farmers to drive long distances to alternative sites to deliver their crops. Evan Halper, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2022 Murga, an infantry officer assigned to the DEA station in Bogotá, got suspicious when Gould asked him to load a pair of punching bags onto a C-130 bound for Florida, and to not stop by the U.S. embassy on the way to the airfield. Seth Harp, Rolling Stone, 4 Sep. 2022 Reverse ATMs are available inside the southeast and southwest entry gates to load cash onto prepaid debit cards. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Aug. 2022 The hay-stacking, tractor-driving event involved teams of three working together to load hay onto a wagon at the back of a tractor then driving the tractor through an obstacle course. Allana Haynes, Baltimore Sun, 8 Aug. 2022 For a dumbbell hip thrust, begin your set-up while sitting on the floor by standing the dumbbells vertically and then rolling them onto your pelvis, making sure to load them properly for even weight distribution on your hips, Rice says. Tiffany Ayuda, SELF, 8 Aug. 2022 The young Black sailor was assigned to load munitions onto ships during World War II in Contra Costa County. Joshua Sharpe, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Aug. 2022 If Perseverance breaks down, the two helicopters being built and launched later this decade would load the samples onto the rocket instead. Jonathan Moore, Fox News, 28 July 2022 The Bengals should be using this discount to subsidize other positions and load up for another Super Bowl run. Jason Williams, The Enquirer, 1 Sep. 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.

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 4 Dec. 2022.

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
load up on
1
: to ingest in usually large amounts
loaded up on his favorite food
2
: to acquire in usually large amounts
loaded up on dry goods
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 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 load Emergency Medicine
2
: the number or quantity (as of patients) to be accommodated or treated
the patient load of physicians in private practice 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 injections Experiment 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

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

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