un·​bur·​den | \ˌən-ˈbər-dᵊn \
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


clear, disburden, disencumber, divest, free, relieve, rid


burden, encumber, saddle

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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

After 80 games, Cristiano Felicio finally is unburdening himself. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Cristiano Felicio admits he tried to live up to contract," 8 Apr. 2018 Stalin used the press, unburdened by facts, to create an enclosed atmosphere where paranoid fantasy had to be accepted as reality. Will Englund, Washington Post, "Why Trump’s ‘enemy of the people’ bluster can’t be compared to Stalin’s savage rule," 17 Jan. 2018 Yet some of the highest rates for sickle cell disease come from the Mediterranean and India, while large regions of South and North Africa are generally unburdened by the disease. Jennifer W. Tsai, STAT, "You can’t tell a book by its cover — or a disease by Drake’s race," 11 July 2018 The event is modestly sized and therefore unburdened by the weight that makes most music festivals a drag. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Houston man splices together a record label," 3 July 2018 Starting Thursday, Fowler would like to unburden himself of something else — the label of being the world’s best golfer who has yet to win a major championship. Sam Farmer, latimes.com, "Rickie Fowler is fully engaged in quest for his first major title as U.S. Open begins Thursday," 13 June 2018 Mr Trump, unburdened by such niceties, tried them both, sometimes in the same breath. The Economist, "The rising cost of America First," 14 June 2018 There’s a belief that this could unlock Prescott’s strength, which is to play the position like a point guard does—seeing the field, and throwing to the open guy, unburdened by the feeling of having to keep Bryant engaged. Albert Breer, SI.com, "Great Expectations Across the NFL: 10 Teams, Coaches and Players (Plus a Broadcaster) Staring Down a Huge 2018," 31 May 2018 Hannah's former friends, many of whom were on the tapes of season 1, have unburdened themselves of their secrets during the trial. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "13 Reasons Why," 30 May 2018

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

10 Oct 2018

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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 \
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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Comments on unburden

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a private place of worship

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