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burden1

[bur-dn] /ˈbɜr dn/
noun
1.
that which is carried; load:
a horse's burden of rider and pack.
2.
that which is borne with difficulty; obligation; onus:
the burden of leadership.
3.
Nautical.
  1. the weight of a ship's cargo.
  2. the carrying capacity of a ship.
4.
Mining. overburden (def 3).
5.
Metallurgy. the minerals charged into a blast furnace or steelmaking furnace.
6.
Accounting. overhead (def 6).
verb (used with object)
7.
to load heavily.
8.
to load oppressively; trouble.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English, variant of burthen, Old English byrthen; akin to German Bürde, Gothic baurthei; see bear1
Related forms
burdener, noun
burdenless, adjective
Synonyms
1. See load. 2. weight, encumbrance, impediment. 8. weigh down, saddle, try, afflict, perturb, plague, grieve, vex.

burden2

[bur-dn] /ˈbɜr dn/
noun
1.
the main point, message, or idea.
2.
Music. the refrain or recurring chorus of a song.
Origin
1275-1325; Middle English bordoun, burdoun < Old French bourdon droning sound, instrument making such a sound
Synonyms
1. substance, core, crux, nucleus, essence.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for burden
  • Apart from the disease itself, the financial burden of cancer treatment is a major source of stress for patient and family.
  • The largest burden of disease after these events is probably mental health issues.
  • The world will sink under the burden of mental dead weights such as yourself.
  • As crops dry up and farmers migrate to urban shantytowns lacking clean water and basic sanitation, the burden is amplified.
  • Publishing is a lot more fun when you're freed from the burden of profitability.
  • Every man shall bear his own burden.
  • Our burden is to make people read, even if the books tread on dangerous ground.
  • Regarded as a burden in her new home, the girl is treated like a servant.
  • That is a burden which makes the job more difficult.
  • The burden of producing clean power is being shifted to the electric utilities.
British Dictionary definitions for burden

burden1

/ˈbɜːdən/
noun
1.
something that is carried; load
2.
something that is exacting, oppressive, or difficult to bear: the burden of responsibility, related adjective onerous
3.
(nautical)
  1. the cargo capacity of a ship
  2. the weight of a ship's cargo
verb (transitive)
4.
(sometimes foll by up) to put or impose a burden on; load
5.
to weigh down; oppress: the old woman was burdened with cares
Word Origin
Old English byrthen; related to beran to bear1, Old Frisian berthene burden, Old High German burdin

burden2

/ˈbɜːdən/
noun
1.
a line of words recurring at the end of each verse of a ballad or similar song; chorus or refrain
2.
the principal or recurrent theme of a speech, book, etc
3.
another word for bourdon
Word Origin
C16: from Old French bourdon bass horn, droning sound, of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for burden
n.

"a load," Old English byrðen "a load, weight, charge, duty;" also "a child;" from Proto-Germanic *burthinjo- "that which is borne" (cf. Old Norse byrðr, Old Saxon burthinnia, German bürde, Gothic baurþei), from PIE root *bher- (1) "to bear, to carry; give birth" (see infer).

The shift from -th- to -d- took place beginning 12c. (cf. murder). Archaic burthen is occasionally retained for the specific sense of "capacity of a ship." Burden of proof is recorded from 1590s.

"leading idea," 1640s, a figurative use from earlier sense "refrain or chorus of a song," 1590s, originally "bass accompaniment to music" (late 14c.), from Old French bordon "bumble-bee, drone," or directly from Medieval Latin burdonom "drone, drone bass" (source of French bourdon, Spanish bordon, Portuguese bordão, Italian bordone), of echoic origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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burden in the Bible

(1.) A load of any kind (Ex. 23:5). (2.) A severe task (Ex. 2:11). (3.) A difficult duty, requiring effort (Ex. 18:22). (4.) A prophecy of a calamitous or disastrous nature (Isa. 13:1; 17:1; Hab. 1:1, etc.).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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