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[bur-dnd] /ˈbɜr dnd/
adjective, Navigation
(of a vessel) required to yield to a vessel having the right of way.
Compare privileged (def 5).
Origin of burdened
burden1 + -ed2


[bur-dn] /ˈbɜr dn/
that which is carried; load:
a horse's burden of rider and pack.
that which is borne with difficulty; obligation; onus:
the burden of leadership.
  1. the weight of a ship's cargo.
  2. the carrying capacity of a ship.
Mining. overburden (def 3).
Metallurgy. the minerals charged into a blast furnace or steelmaking furnace.
Accounting. overhead (def 6).
verb (used with object)
to load heavily.
to load oppressively; trouble.
before 1000; Middle English, variant of burthen, Old English byrthen; akin to German Bürde, Gothic baurthei; see bear1
Related forms
burdener, noun
burdenless, adjective
1. See load. 2. weight, encumbrance, impediment. 8. weigh down, saddle, try, afflict, perturb, plague, grieve, vex. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for burdened
  • White was burdened with unveiling a whole new realm.
  • The global icon is not simply burdened with high expectations.
  • But over a century of fire suppression efforts have tragically burdened those ecosystems with extra fuel.
  • They are not burdened or graced, depending on your viewpoint, with the power of choice.
  • Thats fine too, if the rest are not burdened inappropriately by an individuals lifestyle.
  • Digitizing medical data has been touted as one way to help the already burdened system manage the surge in patients.
  • Working memory can become more burdened by increasing the number of words to remember.
  • Here are travellers burdened with trunks and bandboxes.
  • Yet whoever is burdened with fear of this second kind may be expected to harbor other and similar phobias.
  • Besides, the memory in the early years is more facile, because it is less burdened than in later years.
British Dictionary definitions for burdened


something that is carried; load
something that is exacting, oppressive, or difficult to bear: the burden of responsibility, related adjective onerous
  1. the cargo capacity of a ship
  2. the weight of a ship's cargo
verb (transitive)
(sometimes foll by up) to put or impose a burden on; load
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


a line of words recurring at the end of each verse of a ballad or similar song; chorus or refrain
the principal or recurrent theme of a speech, book, etc
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 burdened



"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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burdened 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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