\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

As private companies funded by loads of venture capital, Uber and Lyft can still afford to slash prices. Jessi Hempel, WIRED, "Uber and Lyft's Never-Ending Quest to Crush Price Comparison Apps," 11 July 2018 This poses loads of risks, particularly illnesses caused by the tough environments in space. Fox News, "NASA shocker: Astronaut reveals humans could have been on Mars in the 1960s," 10 July 2018 Increasingly, smugglers are relying on eighteen-wheelers, locking migrants in the trailers, often hidden behind the loads of cargo. Nicholas Kulish, The Seattle Times, "Human smuggling cat-and-mouse game plays out beyond the U.S.-Mexico border," 9 July 2018 Sleek cabinets conceal loads of storage, and ceilings lights and cabinet backlighting make the van’s interior feel more spacious. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Colorful camper van is the ultimate adventure vehicle," 5 July 2018 That said, if past Prime Days are any indication, the event should bring a handful of noteworthy deals surrounded by loads of junky items and advertising hype. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: Amazon Prime Day returns on July 16—and it’s actually a day and a half," 3 July 2018 Most plastic straws aren’t heavy enough to make it through industrial recycling sorters, according to the Strawless Ocean campaign, and can ruin an otherwise good load of recycling. Washington Post, "National Digest: Seattle bans drinking straws, the first major U.S. to do so," 2 July 2018 There are loads of jam bands today essentially emulating what Steely Dan was doing 40 years ago. John Adamian, courant.com, "Tedeschi Trucks And Jay Critch Are Just Two Of This Week's Must-See Shows," 2 July 2018 Kentucky will need whichever quarterback wins the starting job to boost a passing game that has too often forced Snell to carry the load alone in the last two years. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "How Kentucky football can win (or lose) against South Carolina," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 All these changes can be absolutely exhausting, so check out Origins GinZing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer, a facial cream loaded with rejuvenating boosters that will help rev up your natural glow. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What July's Aquarius Horoscope Means for You," 29 June 2018 The investigators detected ice grains loaded with complex organic material in both the plume and the E ring. Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, "Ingredients for Life Found on Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus," 27 June 2018 Tucked inside Downtown Indianapolis Marriott, but far from the stereotypical hotel restaurant thanks to creative-but-approachable dishes such as crisp, corn-sweet hush puppies loaded with blue crab. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Every restaurant you'll try at IndyStar Wine & Food Experience," 25 June 2018 At midnight on June 6, they were loaded into C-47 transport planes. Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "NC paratrooper 'defeated Nazism, liberated Europe' in all of war's major combat jumps," 10 July 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

5 Oct 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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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