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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 for burdens
  • So instead of going through your day to day with the burdens of the world on your shoulders, smile.
  • The sense of duty, growing ever deeper, compelled him to take up fresh burdens.
  • He closed the door of the room, came forward to the dressing-table, and put down his burdens.
  • He finds possessions oppressive and has tirelessly pursued an existence in which he would be free of all burdens.
  • And, because inflation erodes the real value of debts, people's debt burdens would shrink.
  • In that sense, they are willing to tolerate the burdens of a one-party state as long as things keep improving.
  • Borrowers who default on their student loans face significant personal and financial burdens.
  • While the financial burdens have been horrific for this author, the psychic burden appears to have also weighed heavily.
  • Transcripts of their intense, lengthy talks show that both knew in detail the burdens of the arms race.
  • Having a serious illness brings on extra burdens for the entire family.
British Dictionary definitions for burdens

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 burdens
burden
O.E. byrðen "a load, weight, charge, duty;" also "a child;" from P.Gmc. *burthinjo "that which is borne" (cf. O.N. byrðr, O.S. burthinnia, Ger. bürde, Goth. baurþei), from PIE *bher- (1) "carry, give birth." 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.
burden
"leading idea," 1640s, from earlier sense "refrain or chorus of a song," 1590s, originally "bass accompaniment to music" (late 14c.), from O.Fr. bordon "bumble-bee, drone," or directly from M.L. burdonom "drone, drone bass" (cf. Fr. bourdon, Sp. bordon, Port. bordão, It. bordone), of echoic origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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burdens 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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