over·​bur·​den | \ ˌō-vər-ˈbər-dᵊn How to pronounce overburden (audio) \
overburdened; overburdening; overburdens

Definition of overburden

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place an excessive burden on


over·​bur·​den | \ ˈō-vər-ˌbər-dᵊn How to pronounce overburden (audio) \

Definition of overburden (Entry 2 of 2)

: material overlying a deposit of useful geologic materials or bedrock

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for overburden

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of overburden in a Sentence

Verb She overburdened me with work. Why overburden yourself when people are offering to help?
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Health care professionals have warned that an influx of tens of thousands of coaches, athletes and media — not all of whom may be fully vaccinated — could overburden Japan’s already stretched medical system. Washington Post, 25 May 2021 Equally distribute the workload and try not to overburden your employees. Jonathan Gary, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 But officials and experts warn that an overcrowded ICU can overburden doctors and nurses, imperiling the quality of care for everyone, including COVID-19 patients, heart attack victims and those who have been seriously injured in a car accident. Brittny Mejia Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Dec. 2020 Doctors and government officials have been urging Americans to get the flu shot especially this year, because the combination of a bad flu season and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could overburden hospitals. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2020 Studies show that dual waves of coronavirus and influenza threaten to overburden the health care system. USA Today, 13 Oct. 2020 And with Wisconsin currently one of the nation's top hot spots for the coronavirus, people sick with flu could overburden a health care system that's already bursting in several communities in the state. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 Oct. 2020 Trump administration officials have said Gee's order, if implemented, would overburden ICE family detention centers and U.S. refugee agency shelters and hinder efforts to contain the coronavirus inside these facilities. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 1 Oct. 2020 Julie Washington reports that a bad flu season with high numbers of hospitalizations, combined with COVID-19, could overburden hospitals across the country. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 11 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The working assumption was that everything would soon be crushed by the overburden of snow anyway. Jon Gertner, WIRED, 12 June 2019 Keep in mind, the whole purpose of this was to relieve students of the overburden of exams and let teachers teach. Kristen M. Clark, miamiherald, 3 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overburden.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of overburden


1532, in the meaning defined above


1821, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overburden

Time Traveler for overburden

Time Traveler

The first known use of overburden was in 1532

See more words from the same year

Statistics for overburden

Last Updated

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overburden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overburden. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overburden



English Language Learners Definition of overburden

: to give (someone or something) too much work, worry, etc. : to burden (someone or something) too much


over·​bur·​den | \ ˌō-vər-ˈbər-dᵊn How to pronounce overburden (audio) \
overburdened; overburdening

Kids Definition of overburden

: to burden too heavily I'm overburdened with work.


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!