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

Synonyms for overburden

Synonyms: Verb

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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 But not, apparently, one that would overburden the health care systems. oregonlive, 13 July 2022 At a news conference in 1987, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry lambasted residents who seemed to misuse and overburden the 911 emergency response system to address more routine health problems. Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2022 The engine, while unbelievably responsive and powerful, doesn't seem to overburden the chassis—our driver was able to flick the car around on snowy surfaces with remarkable ease. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, 9 Feb. 2022 Since there were still dozens of cases from last summer’s petition that had not yet been resolved, Reddick agreed to split the list of cases into three parts, so as not to overburden the schedule. Megan Crepeau, chicagotribune.com, 1 Feb. 2022 With Wiggins available, Golden State has no need to overburden Thompson defensively. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 25 Jan. 2022 However, even with older residents vaccinated, there are fears an outbreak could easily overburden the local healthcare system. Dylan Hernández Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 6 Aug. 2021 The Browns are wasting the prime of Nick Chubb’s career, apparently afraid to overburden their three-time Pro Bowl running back — their best player on that side of the ball — as the season disintegrated. Marla Ridenour, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2022 Some European experts worry that even if the variant causes less severe illness, its rapid growth may overburden hospitals that were already strained by the continent’s latest wave in delta cases. Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is partly due to an overburden of industry in minority neighborhoods. Safia Samee Ali, NBC News, 18 Feb. 2022 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 See More

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.

First Known Use of overburden


1532, in the meaning defined above


1821, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for overburden

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The first known use of overburden was in 1532

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Last Updated

21 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Overburden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overburden. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for overburden


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on overburden

Nglish: Translation of overburden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about overburden


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