onus was our Word of the Day on 02/20/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of onus in a Sentence
- Consumers should be able to limit the use of information beyond what's essential to complete a transaction. There are two principal ways to do this: Web sites can permit them to "opt in," or explicitly grant advance permission to share information. Or they can put the onus on consumers to "opt out" if they don't want information shared. —Consumer Reports, May 2000
- These laws got the regulatory ball rolling, but the onus was on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that additives were safe. —Amy Rosenbaum Clark, Vegetarian Times, March 1995
- It is not the scions of Yale and Harvard who apply to become FBI agents and construction workers and civil servants and cops who bear the onus of this reverse discrimination. —Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post, 9-15 Mar. 1992
hoping to avoid the onus of failure by lowering expectations ahead of time
he perpetually tries to shift the onus for any mistakes onto other team members
Recent Examples of onus from the Web
The onus is now on prosecutors to overcome the claim.
The onus is on the Justice Department to prove that this deal is bad for consumers.
The question was about why the onus was on users to opt into Facebook’s privacy and security settings.
The recommendation paves the way for websites and browsers to support alternatives to passwords, but now the onus is on website owners and browser companies to support it.
No, the onus is squarely on the team to have made the right choice with a draft selection so high.
Having to ask for a straw puts the onus back on the customer, who may indeed need and want one.
The setback in negotiations to form a new government put the onus on the opposition’s charismatic leader, Nikol Pashinyan, to keep the pressure up.
But the Pentagon official put the onus on Congress.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'onus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Understanding the etymology of onus is not at all burdensome; it's as simple as knowing that English borrowed the word - spelling, meaning, and all - from Latin in the 17th century. We can also add that it's a distant relative of the Sanskrit word for "cart" (a vehicle that carries a burden). English isn't exactly loaded with derivatives of Latin onus, but the root did give us "onerous" ("troublesome") and "exonerate" ("to clear from accusation or blame" - thus, "to unburden"). Additionally, our legal language has "onus probandi," which is often shortened to "onus." It means "burden of proof" - that is, the obligation of proving a disputed assertion in a court of law.
ONUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of onus for English Language Learners
: the responsibility for something
Seen and Heard
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