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[v. oh-ver-bur-dn; n. oh-ver-bur-dn] /v. ˌoʊ vərˈbɜr dn; n. ˈoʊ vərˌbɜr dn/
verb (used with object)
to load with too great a burden; overload:
He was overburdened with cares.
an excessive burden.
Also called burden, capping. Mining. waste earth and rock covering a mineral deposit.
Origin of overburden
1570-80; over- + burden1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overburden
  • Mining produces tremendous amounts of overburden that is laden with heavy metals.
  • Most people have seen piles of overburden on steep hillsides below the mines.
  • In conditions where the ground is relatively soft and weak, the full overburden weight can be transferred to the pillar system.
  • Five aquifers exist at this site: one overburden and four bedrock.
  • The overburden may need to be consolidated with low pressure grouting techniques.
  • overburden would be blasted and stockpiled or placed directly into the already mined pit and coal would be removed.
  • Where overburden contains more clay, cover-collapse type sinkholes are predominant.
  • overburden was leached by both acidic and basic water.
British Dictionary definitions for overburden


verb (ˌəʊvəˈbɜːdən)
(transitive) to load with excessive weight, work, etc
noun (ˈəʊvəˌbɜːdən)
an excessive burden or load
(geology) the sedimentary rock material that covers coal seams, mineral veins, etc
Derived Forms
overburdensome, adjective
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 overburden

also over-burden, "to put too much weight on," 1530s, from over- + burden (v.). Earliest uses are figurative. Related: Overburdened; overburdening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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