What does burden mean?

Definitions for burden
ˈbɜr dnbur·den

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word burden.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. burden, load, encumbrance, incumbrance, onusnoun

    an onerous or difficult concern

    "the burden of responsibility"; "that's a load off my mind"

  2. load, loading, burdennoun

    weight to be borne or conveyed

  3. effect, essence, burden, core, gistnoun

    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work

  4. burdenverb

    the central idea that is expanded in a document or discourse

  5. burden, burthen, weight, weight downverb

    weight down with a load

  6. charge, saddle, burdenverb

    impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to

    "He charged her with cleaning up all the files over the weekend"


  1. burdennoun

    A heavy load.

  2. burdennoun

    A responsibility, onus.

  3. burdennoun

    A cause of worry.

  4. burdennoun

    A phrase or theme that recurs at the end of each verse in a folk song or ballad; the drone of a bagpipe.

  5. burdennoun

    Theme, core idea.

  6. burdenverb

    To encumber with a burden (in any of the noun senses of the word).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. BURDENnoun

    Etymology: byrðen, Sax. and therefore properly written burthen. It is supposed to come from burdo, Lat. a male, as onus from ὄνος, an ass.

    Camels have their provender
    Only for bearing burdens, and sore blows
    For sinking under them. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    It is of use in lading of ships, and may help to shew what burden in the several kinds they will bear. Francis Bacon, Phys. Rem.

    Couldst thou support
    That burden, heavier than the earth to bear? Par. Lost, b. x.

    None of the things they are to learn, should ever be made a burden to them, or imposed on them as a task. John Locke.

    Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone,
    To all my friends a burden grown. Jonathan Swift.

    Thou hadst a wife once, called Æmilia,
    That bore thee at a burden two fair sons. William Shakespeare.

    At ev’ry close she made, th’ attending throng
    Reply’d, and bore the burden of the song. John Dryden, Fab.

  2. To Burdenverb

    To load; to incumber.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    Burden not thyself above thy power. Ecclus, xiii. 2.

    I mean not that other men be eased, and you burdened. Cor. viii. 13.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Burdennoun

    that which is borne or carried; a load

  2. Burdennoun

    that which is borne with labor or difficulty; that which is grievous, wearisome, or oppressive

  3. Burdennoun

    the capacity of a vessel, or the weight of cargo that she will carry; as, a ship of a hundred tons burden

  4. Burdennoun

    the tops or heads of stream-work which lie over the stream of tin

  5. Burdennoun

    the proportion of ore and flux to fuel, in the charge of a blast furnace

  6. Burdennoun

    a fixed quantity of certain commodities; as, a burden of gad steel, 120 pounds

  7. Burdennoun

    a birth

  8. Burdenverb

    to encumber with weight (literal or figurative); to lay a heavy load upon; to load

  9. Burdenverb

    to oppress with anything grievous or trying; to overload; as, to burden a nation with taxes

  10. Burdenverb

    to impose, as a load or burden; to lay or place as a burden (something heavy or objectionable)

  11. Burdennoun

    the verse repeated in a song, or the return of the theme at the end of each stanza; the chorus; refrain. Hence: That which is often repeated or which is dwelt upon; the main topic; as, the burden of a prayer

  12. Burdennoun

    the drone of a bagpipe

  13. Burdennoun

    a club


  1. Burden

    Burden is a city in Cowley County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 535.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Burden

    bur′dn, n. a load: weight: cargo: that which is grievous, oppressive, or difficult to bear, as blame, sin, sorrow, &c.: birth.—v.t. to load: to oppress: to encumber.—adjs. Bur′denous, Bur′densome, heavy: oppressive.—Burden of proof, in legal procedure, signifies the obligation to establish by evidence certain disputed facts. [A.S. byrthenberan, to bear.]

  2. Burden

    bur′dn, n. part of a song repeated at the end of every stanza, refrain: the leading idea of anything: a load of care, sorrow, or responsibility. [Fr. bourdon, a humming tone in music—Low L. burdo, a drone or non-working bee.]

  3. Burden

    bur′dn, n. (Spens.) a pilgrim's staff. [See Bourdon.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. burden

    Is the quantity of contents or number of tons weight of goods or munitions which a ship will carry, when loaded to a proper sea-trim: and this is ascertained by certain fixed rules of measurement. The precise burden or burthen is about twice the tonnage, but then a vessel would be deemed deeply laden.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'burden' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3693

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'burden' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4603

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'burden' in Nouns Frequency: #1388

Anagrams for burden »

  1. unbred

  2. burned

  3. bunder

How to pronounce burden?

How to say burden in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of burden in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of burden in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of burden in a Sentence

  1. Frank Chung:

    One of my biggest concerns was : How do I make sure that I am not a burden ? How do I make sure I'm not just taking up extra PPE unnecessarily ? i was also worried about the potential effects of getting Covid because many of us have seen people who are young and otherwise fairly healthy who have gotten very sick. So I think we all thought that there is a very real risk opting into this.

  2. James Tagliaferri:

    It's a burden that's very hard to bear, and I want to apologize again.

  3. Diane Craig:

    It takes the burden off other people having to contribute and it can be fun.

  4. Jason Garrett:

    We felt a real burden and a responsibility to have success for this area and for the people who were going through such challenging times, and I thought that moment captured it where we all kind of came together, it's still one of my favorite pictures I've ever had in football. I have it in my office. I have it at my house. So many distinct memories of that time. Twenty years later, I mean, they're vivid. They're vivid and you can still feel them. Obviously, a very tragic time in our country's history.

  5. Markus Muhs:

    It's clear in the entire industry that data protection triggers costs and compliance, and it's a burden that you don't have to such an extent in other countries like the United States, but so far the German manufacturing business has held its own.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for burden

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    difficult to describe
    • A. contiguous
    • B. equivalent
    • C. soft-witted
    • D. elusive

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