un·​bur·​den | \ ˌən-ˈbər-dᵊn How to pronounce unburden (audio) \
unburdened; unburdening; unburdens

Definition of unburden

transitive verb

1 : to free or relieve from a burden
2 : to relieve oneself of (cares, fears, worries, etc.) : cast off

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Synonyms & Antonyms for unburden


disburden, discharge, disencumber, off-load, unlade, unload, unpack


load, pack

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Examples of unburden in a Sentence

the crew was frantically unburdening the ship in an attempt to save it a generous friend unburdened her of that particular financial worry

Recent Examples on the Web

Please feel free to unburden yourself of any knee-jerk thoughts typically ascribed to fourteen-year-old boys. Henry Alford, The New Yorker, "Everything You’re Afraid to Ask About Human Composting," 26 Aug. 2019 Seemingly now unburdened, United were more at ease after half-time and did start to create chances to score. SI.com, "Alan Hansen's 'You Can't Win Anything With Kids' Comment & Man Utd's 1995 Thumping at Aston Villa," 19 Aug. 2019 His voice bounces with the buzz of one recently unburdened. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Wave Racer Blew Up, Then Disappeared. Now, He Breaks His Silence: 'It Came Down to Feelings of Intense Anxiety'," 30 July 2019 Jane looks emotionally and spiritually lighter and unburdened (the only obstacle in her life is her new set of blunt, black bangs), and Renata is... Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "Big Little Lies," 10 June 2019 Like all political ideas unburdened by their likelihood of actually happening, reparations are frequently spoken of in outlandish terms. Graham Hillard, National Review, "The Other Case against Reparations," 22 July 2019 Free to choose a future where are all equal and unburdened by the oppression of those who would choose to divide us. Ahmad Ibsais, Teen Vogue, "'Send Her Back': Why The Ugly Trump Rally Chant Was So Frightening To Me," 18 July 2019 The Kysers say the daylong experience breeds understanding and healing and unburdens some veterans of memories that lay dormant for decades. Caryn M. Sullivan, Twin Cities, "Caryn M. Sullivan: The heart and muscle behind Honor Flight Twin Cities," 4 July 2019 The freedom of leaving the house unburdened by anything more than a key in the zip-pocket of your leggings is particularly meaningful for women used to the weight of handbags, buggies, changing bags stuffed with snacks and spare pants. The Economist, "For women, running is still an act of defiance," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unburden.' 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 unburden

circa 1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for unburden

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unburden

The first known use of unburden was circa 1538

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More Definitions for unburden



English Language Learners Definition of unburden

: to take a problem or burden away from (someone or something)


un·​bur·​den | \ ˌən-ˈbər-dᵊn How to pronounce unburden (audio) \
unburdened; unburdening

Kids Definition of unburden

: to free from a burden and especially from something causing worry or unhappiness After weeks of worry she unburdened herself to her friends.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unburden

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unburden

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unburden

Spanish Central: Translation of unburden

Nglish: Translation of unburden for Spanish Speakers

Comments on unburden

What made you want to look up unburden? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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