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[verb oh-ver-bur-dn; noun oh-ver-bur-dn] /verb ˌoʊ vərˈbɜr dn; noun 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
First recorded in 1570-80; over- + burden1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for overburden
Historical Examples
  • His overburden of labor had crushed him,—before this his eyes had been tired out.

    James B. Eads Louis How
  • If I would have a clear spirit I must not overburden the flesh.

  • If the students are willing to work we do not want to overburden them, Mr. Haskers.

    Dave Porter and the Runaways Edward Stratemeyer
  • It is not wise to overburden oneself with numerous clothes when traveling.

    Book of Etiquette, Volume 2 Lillian Eichler Watson
  • It does not overburden one with an exposition of scientific facts.

  • "Do not overburden me," she answers, but in so low a voice that it can scarce be heard.

    Rossmoyne Unknown
  • He was afraid to overburden the mind of Corny, and he said nothing more.

  • Be careful not to overburden yourself with too many prayers, either mental or vocal.

    Light and Peace Carlo Giuseppe Quadrupani
  • Under present circumstances they are crowded in one place and overburden the commerce and the industry of the Pale of Settlement.

    The Shield

  • This process of uncovering the ore body by the removal of the overburden is called "stripping."

    The Business of Mining Arthur J. Hoskin
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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