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[uhn-bur-dn] /ʌnˈbɜr dn/
verb (used with object)
to free from a burden.
to relieve (one's mind, conscience, etc.) by revealing or confessing something.
to cast off or get rid of, as a burden or something burdensome; disclose; reveal:
He unburdened the worries that plagued him.
Origin of unburden
1530-40; un-2 + burden1
3. confide. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unburden
Historical Examples
  • I understood well enough that it was through sympathy that he had invited me to unburden.

    Who Goes There? Blackwood Ketcham Benson
  • I was about to unburden myself completely; the heart trembled.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • The minute he saw me, he stretched his arm out—'Mr. Roy,' says he, 'I'm sick to unburden myself to somebody'; and he up and told.

    Verner's Pride Mrs. Henry Wood
  • She had thought it all out carefully, and realized that she must unburden to some one.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston Caroline E. Jacobs
  • Let's walk around the campus twice, while I unburden my soul.

    Kit of Greenacre Farm Izola Forrester
  • It was a relief to him to unburden his mind, and Riddell encouraged him to do it.

    The Willoughby Captains Talbot Baines Reed
  • Let me but confess, explain, ask forgiveness, unburden myself.

    Memoirs of a Midget Walter de la Mare
  • She kept silent to give him an opportunity to unburden himself.

    Hunter's Marjory Margaret Bruce Clarke
  • There is a remorseful experience of my own, of which I should be glad to unburden myself to the reader.

  • He surprised her very often, he was in such a hurry to unburden himself of all he was.

    The Dark Tower Phyllis Bottome
British Dictionary definitions for unburden


verb (transitive)
to remove a load or burden from
to relieve or make free (one's mind, oneself, etc) of a worry, trouble, etc, by revelation or confession
Archaic spelling unburthen (ʌnˈbɜːðən)
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 unburden

1530s, "to unload" (transitive), from un- (2) "reverse of" + burden (v.). Cf. German entbürden. Reflective sense is recorded from 1580s. Related: Unburdened; unburdening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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