- The definition of a burden is something carried, a worry or sadness, or a responsibility.
- The cargo in a ship is an example of a burden.
- The sadness of your mother's illness is an example of a burden.
- An example of a burden is the duties that come with being a new parent.
- Burden is defined as making heavy with a load or with emotion.
- To pack a mule for a trip is an example of burden.
- An example of burden is to tell someone about your terrible week at work.
Several donkeys being used as beasts of burden.
burden definition by Webster's New World
- anything that is carried; load
- anything one has to bear or put up with; heavy load, as of work, duty, responsibility, or sorrow
- the carrying of loads: a beast of burden
- the carrying capacity of a ship
Origin: Middle English birthen ; from Old English byrthen, akin to Old Norse byrthr, a load: for Indo-European base see bear
- Archaic a bass accompaniment in music
- a chorus or refrain of a song
- the drone of a bagpipe
- a repeated, central idea; theme: the burden of a speech
Origin: Middle English burdoun, bass in music, refrain ; from Old French bourdon, a humming, buzzing ; from Midieval Latin burdo, wind instrument, bumblebee; of echoic origin, originally
burden definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Something that is carried.
- a. Something that is emotionally difficult to bear.b. A source of great worry or stress; weight: The burden of economic sacrifice rests on the workers of the plant.
- A responsibility or duty: The burden of organizing the campaign fell to me.
- Nautical a. The amount of cargo that a vessel can carry.b. The weight of the cargo carried by a vessel at one time.
- The amount of a disease-causing entity present in an organism.
- To weigh down; oppress.
- To load or overload.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English byrthen; see bher-1 in Indo-European roots.
- A principal or recurring idea; a theme: “The burden of what he said was to defend enthusiastically the conservative aristocracy” (J.A. Froude). See Synonyms at substance.
- Music a. The chorus or refrain of a composition, especially of a 15th-century carol.b. A drone, as of a bagpipe or pedal point.c. Archaic The bass accompaniment to a song.
Origin: Variant of bourdon.
burden - Legal Definition
- A duty, obligation, or responsibility.
- Something that causes anxiety or is grievous or oppressive.
- In property law, anything that encumbers or restrict the use or value of land, such as an easement, restrictive covenant, or zoning ordinance. The burden indefinitely binds the current and all future owners until it is extinguished, so it is the land, and the landowner, that is burdened by the encumbrance or restriction. See estate.