• synonyms


[verb oh-ver-bur-dn; noun oh-ver-bur-dn]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to load with too great a burden; overload: He was overburdened with cares.
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  1. an excessive burden.
  2. Also called burden, capping. Mining. waste earth and rock covering a mineral deposit.
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Origin of overburden

First recorded in 1570–80; over- + burden1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for overburden


verb (ˌəʊvəˈbɜːdən)
  1. (tr) to load with excessive weight, work, etc
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noun (ˈəʊvəˌbɜːdən)
  1. an excessive burden or load
  2. geology the sedimentary rock material that covers coal seams, mineral veins, etc
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Derived Formsoverburdensome, 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper