The definition of an onus is a difficult or unpleasant task.
An example of an onus is having to inform a mother that her son was killed in battle.
- a difficult or unpleasant task, duty, etc.; burden
- responsibility for a wrong; blame
Origin of onusclip of L onus probandi, burden of proving burden of proof
Origin of onusL, a load, burden from Indo-European base an unverified form enos- or an unverified form onos- from source Sanskrit ána?, freight cart
- A difficult or disagreeable responsibility or necessity; a burden or obligation.
- Responsibility for an error or fault; blame: Each side wants to avoid the onus of having started the disagreement.
- The burden of proof: The onus was on the defense attorney.
Origin of onusLatin
(countable and uncountable, plural onuses)
From Latin onus (“burden").