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

transitive verb

: to place an excessive burden on


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over·​bur·​den ˈō-vər-ˌbər-dᵊn How to pronounce overburden (audio)
: material overlying a deposit of useful geologic materials or bedrock

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
Clients move around and rarely have phones; case managers—a position that generally requires no higher education, license, or specialized training—are poorly paid and often overburdened, though the good ones are heroic and save lives. Jennifer Egan, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 The move has caused concerns for housing advocates who say the city's shelter system is already overburdened, and homeless people who are moved from their campsites often have nowhere to go. The Courier-Journal, 24 Aug. 2023 What too often results is a climate disaster that overburdens existing emergency management plans. Denise Chow, NBC News, 16 Aug. 2023 One study found that the pandemic actually increased the workload for women of color, who were already overburdened in all aspects of their lives. Leslie Smith, Forbes, 3 May 2023 Given his importance to the future, overburdening Bello in the second half would be a mistake. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, 5 July 2023 This is all while our public servants remain underpaid and overburdened due to staffing shortages and an overall decline in public support. Paige Eichkorn, Arkansas Online, 1 May 2023 The city has a number of factors to consider, like taking into account different sites’ capacities, making sure certain neighborhoods are not overburdened with processing food waste, and optimizing transportation routes to minimize truck traffic. Curbed, 6 Apr. 2023 Italian health officials intensified heat warnings as southern Europe began a brutally hot week on Monday with temperatures expected to top 40 C — or 104 F — on a continent already overburdened by tourists. Kim Tong-Hyung, USA TODAY, 18 July 2023
The demand-resource mismatches of burnout, the operational drivers, are substantial and must be addressed: clumsy electronic medical records, understaffing, and administrative overburden, among others. Wendy Dean, STAT, 7 June 2023 Approaches to reduce firearm violence should also be coupled with an investment in addressing social and economic factors such as concentrated poverty and segregation that contribute to an overburden of violence in under-resourced communities. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 31 May 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overburden.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1532, in the meaning defined above


1821, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overburden was in 1532

Dictionary Entries Near overburden

Cite this Entry

“Overburden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overburden. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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