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2017 Word of the Year

unburden

[uhn-bur-dn] /ʌnˈbɜr dn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to free from a burden.
2.
to relieve (one's mind, conscience, etc.) by revealing or confessing something.
3.
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
1530-1540
First recorded in 1530-40; un-2 + burden1
Synonyms
3. confide.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unburden
Historical Examples
  • She kept silent to give him an opportunity to unburden himself.

    Hunter's Marjory Margaret Bruce Clarke
  • I was about to unburden myself completely; the heart trembled.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • She, glad to unburden her mind, told him what Céline had said.

  • She had thought it all out carefully, and realized that she must unburden to some one.

    Blue Bonnet in Boston Caroline E. Jacobs
  • It was a relief to him to unburden his mind, and Riddell encouraged him to do it.

    The Willoughby Captains Talbot Baines Reed
  • Speak out, Daniel,” he said affectionately, “unburden your soul!

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • He surprised her very often, he was in such a hurry to unburden himself of all he was.

    The Dark Tower Phyllis Bottome
  • Higgins found it easier to unburden himself to one than to two.

    North and South Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • There, after ordering a savory lunch, he invited Pant to unburden his soul.

    Forbidden Cargoes Roy J. Snell
  • She could not deceive her any longer, and determined to unburden her mind at once.

    The Threatening Eye Edward Frederick Knight
British Dictionary definitions for unburden

unburden

/ʌnˈbɜːdən/
verb (transitive)
1.
to remove a load or burden from
2.
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
v.

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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