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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for burdened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She knew that she had neither sought nor desired what now burdened her heart so heavily, and yet rendered her so infinitely happy.

  • It was not impossible, and I determined that my late passengers should not be burdened with his company.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • Each of these men he burdened with fixed conditions of tribute, thus making allegiance a condition of his kindness.

    The Danish History, Books I-IX Saxo Grammaticus ("Saxo the Learned")
  • After this course of study, I was not burdened with "greenness."

    Seek and Find Oliver Optic
  • They are very heavy and bulky in proportion to their food value; so you cannot afford to be burdened with any but the best.

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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