[verb oh-ver-bur-dn; noun oh-ver-bur-dn]
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  1. an excessive burden.
  2. Also called burden, capping. Mining. waste earth and rock covering a mineral deposit.

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 for overburden

overwhelm, encumber, oppress, exhaust

Examples from the Web for overburden

Historical Examples of overburden

British Dictionary definitions for overburden


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper