burden

1
[ bur-dn ]
/ ˈbɜr dn /

noun

verb (used with object)

to load heavily.
to load oppressively; trouble.

Nearby words

  1. burbot,
  2. burchfield,
  3. burchfield, charles,
  4. burckhardt,
  5. burd,
  6. burden of proof,
  7. burdened,
  8. burdensome,
  9. burdizzo,
  10. burdock

Origin of burden

1
before 1000; Middle English, variant of burthen, Old English byrthen; akin to German Bürde, Gothic baurthei; see bear1

Related formsbur·den·er, nounbur·den·less, adjective

Synonym study

1. See load.

burden

2
[ bur-dn ]
/ ˈbɜr dn /

noun

the main point, message, or idea.
Music. the refrain or recurring chorus of a song.

Origin of burden

2
1275–1325; Middle English bordoun, burdoun < Old French bourdon droning sound, instrument making such a sound

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for burden


British Dictionary definitions for burden

burden

1
/ (ˈbɜːdən) /

noun

something that is carried; load
something that is exacting, oppressive, or difficult to bearthe burden of responsibility Related adjective: onerous
nautical
  1. the cargo capacity of a ship
  2. the weight of a ship's cargo

verb (tr)

(sometimes foll by up) to put or impose a burden on; load
to weigh down; oppressthe old woman was burdened with cares

Word Origin for burden

Old English byrthen; related to beran to bear 1, Old Frisian berthene burden, Old High German burdin

noun

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 for burden

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

Word Origin and History for burden
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper