Definitions for: Burden

[n] weight to be borne or conveyed
[n] an onerous or difficult concern; "the burden of responsibility"; "that's a load off my mind"
[n] the central idea that is expanded in a document or discourse
[n] the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
[v] impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to; "He charged her with cleaning up all the files over the weekend"
[v] weight down with a load

Webster (1913) Definition: Bur"den (b[^u]"d'n), n. [Written also burthen.] [OE.
burden, burthen, birthen, birden, AS. byr[eth]en; akin to
Icel. byr[eth]i, Dan. byrde, Sw. b["o]rda, G. b["u]rde, OHG.
burdi, Goth. ba['u]r[thorn]ei, fr. the root of E. bear, AS.
beran, Goth. bairan. [root]92. See 1st Bear.]
1. That which is borne or carried; a load.

Plants with goodly burden bowing. --Shak.

2. That which is borne with labor or difficulty; that which
is grievous, wearisome, or oppressive.

Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone, To all my friends
a burden grown. --Swift.

3. The capacity of a vessel, or the weight of cargo that she
will carry; as, a ship of a hundred tons burden.

4. (Mining) The tops or heads of stream-work which lie over
the stream of tin.

5. (Metal.) The proportion of ore and flux to fuel, in the
charge of a blast furnace. --Raymond.

6. A fixed quantity of certain commodities; as, a burden of
gad steel, 120 pounds.

7. A birth. [Obs. & R.] --Shak.

Beast of burden, an animal employed in carrying burdens.

Burden of proof [L. onus probandi] (Law), the duty of
proving a particular position in a court of law, a failure
in the performance of which duty calls for judgment
against the party on whom the duty is imposed.

Syn: Burden, Load.

Usage: A burden is, in the literal sense, a weight to be
borne; a load is something laid upon us to be carried.
Hence, when used figuratively, there is usually a
difference between the two words. Our burdens may be
of such a nature that we feel bound to bear them
cheerfully or without complaint. They may arise from
the nature of our situation; they may be allotments of
Providence; they may be the consequences of our
errors. What is upon us, as a load, we commonly carry
with greater reluctance or sense of oppression. Men
often find the charge of their own families to be a
burden; but if to this be added a load of care for
others, the pressure is usually serve and irksome.

Bur"den, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Burdened; p. pr. & vb.
n. Burdening.]
1. To encumber with weight (literal or figurative); to lay a
heavy load upon; to load.

I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened.
--2 Cor. viii.

2. To oppress with anything grievous or trying; to overload;
as, to burden a nation with taxes.

My burdened heart would break. --Shak.

3. To impose, as a load or burden; to lay or place as a
burden (something heavy or objectionable). [R.]

It is absurd to burden this act on Cromwell.

Syn: To load; encumber; overload; oppress.

Bur"den (b[^u]r"d'n), n. [OE. burdoun the bass in
music, F. bourdon; cf. LL. burdo drone, a long organ pipe, a
staff, a mule. Prob. of imitative origin. Cf. Bourdon.]
1. The verse repeated in a song, or the return of the theme
at the end of each stanza; the chorus; refrain. Hence:
That which is often repeated or which is dwelt upon; the
main topic; as, the burden of a prayer.

I would sing my song without a burden. --Shak.

2. The drone of a bagpipe. --Ruddiman.

Bur"den, n. [See Burdon.]
A club. [Obs.] --Spenser.

Synonyms: burthen, charge, core, effect, encumbrance, essence, gist, incumbrance, load, load, loading, onus, saddle, weight, weight down

Antonyms: disburden, unburden

See Also: adjure, bear down, burthen, charge, command, compel, concern, dead load, dead weight, deluge, fardel, flood out, headache, idea, import, imposition, live load, meaning, millstone, overburden, overburden, overburden, overload, overwhelm, plumb, require, saddle, significance, signification, superload, thought, vexation, weight, worry

Try our:
Scrabble Word Finder

Scrabble Cheat

Words With Friends Cheat

Hanging With Friends Cheat

Scramble With Friends Cheat

Ruzzle Cheat

Related Resources:
c letter animals
animals starting with x