• Photo of a Burden Bearer
    Photo of a Burden Bearer
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v burden impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to "He charged her with cleaning up all the files over the weekend"
    • v burden weight down with a load
    • n burden weight to be borne or conveyed
    • n burden an onerous or difficult concern "the burden of responsibility","that's a load off my mind"
    • n burden the central idea that is expanded in a document or discourse
    • n burden the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The giant bird did not seem to notice its burden at all The giant bird did not seem to notice its burden at all

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In the name of art, Chris Burden arranged to be shot by a friend while another person photographed the event. He sold the series of pictures to an art dealer. He made $1750 on the deal, but his hospital bill was $84,000.
    • Burden A birth.
    • n Burden A club.
    • Burden A fixed quantity of certain commodities; as, a burden of gad steel, 120 pounds.
    • Burden That which is borne or carried; a load. "Plants with goodly burden bowing."
    • Burden That which is borne with labor or difficulty; that which is grievous, wearisome, or oppressive. "Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone,
      To all my friends a burden grown."
    • Burden The capacity of a vessel, or the weight of cargo that she will carry; as, a ship of a hundred tons burden .
    • Burden The drone of a bagpipe.
    • Burden (Metal) The proportion of ore and flux to fuel, in the charge of a blast furnace.
    • Burden (Mining) The tops or heads of stream-work which lie over the stream of tin.
    • Burden 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. "I would sing my song without a burden ."
    • Burden To encumber with weight (literal or figurative); to lay a heavy load upon; to load. "I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened ."
    • Burden To impose, as a load or burden; to lay or place as a burden (something heavy or objectionable). "It is absurd to burden this act on Cromwell."
    • Burden To oppress with anything grievous or trying; to overload; as, to burden a nation with taxes. "My burdened heart would break."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: On November 23, 1835, Henry Burden of Troy, New York, developed the first machine for manufacturing horseshoes. Burden later oversaw the production of most of the horseshoes used by the Union cavalry during the Civil War.
    • n burden That which is borne or carried; a load.
    • n burden Hence That which is borne with labor or difficulty; that which is grievous, wearisome, or oppressive; also, an incumbrance of any kind.
    • n burden In England, a quantity of certain commodities: as, a burden of gad-steel (that is, 120 or 180 pounds).
    • n burden The capacity of a ship; the quantity or number of tons of freight a vessel will carry: as, a ship of 600 tons burden.
    • n burden In mining, the tops or heads of stream-work, overlying the stream of tin, and needing to be first cleansed.
    • n burden The charge of a blast-furnace.
    • burden To load; lay a heavy load on; encumber with weight.
    • burden Hence Figuratively, to load; oppress with anything which is borne with difficulty or trouble; surcharge: as, to burden a nation with taxes; to burden the memory with details.
    • burden To lay or impose upon one, as a load, burden, or charge.
    • n burden The act of bearing children; a birth.
    • n burden The bass in music.
    • n burden In music: The refrain or recurring chorus at the end of the stanzas of a ballad or song; a refrain.
    • n burden The drone of a bagpipe. The song to which a dance is danced when there are no instruments.
    • n burden That which is often repeated; a subject on which one dwells; the main topic: as, this subject was the burden of all his talk.
    • n burden A club.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Burden bur′dn a load: weight: cargo: that which is grievous, oppressive, or difficult to bear, as blame, sin, sorrow, &c.: birth
    • v.t Burden to load: to oppress: to encumber
    • n Burden bur′dn part of a song repeated at the end of every stanza, refrain: the leading idea of anything: a load of care, sorrow, or responsibility.
    • n Burden bur′dn (Spens.) a pilgrim's staff.
    • ***


  • Chinese Proverb
    Chinese Proverb
    “If your strength is small, don't carry heavy burdens. If your words are worthless, don't give advice.”
  • George Herbert
    “None knows the weight of another's burden.”
  • Yiddish Proverb
    Yiddish Proverb
    “God gave burdens, also shoulders.”
  • Sir Philip Sidney
    “It is the nature of the strong heart, that like the palm tree it strives ever upwards when it is most burdened.”
  • Voltaire
    “What a heavy burden is a name that has become famous too soon.”
  • Jean De La Bruyere
    “The first day one is a guest, the second a burden, and the third a pest.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. burden, burthen, birthen, birden, AS. byrðen,; akin to Icel. byrði, Dan. byrde, Sw. börda, G. bürde, OHG. burdi, Goth. baúrþei, fr. the root of E. bear, AS. beran, Goth. bairan,. √92. See 1st Bear
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
See Bourdon.


In literature:

The latter are never used to carry burdens, but only kept for breeding.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
There was a final legacy from the computer's creators, one they had left to ease the burden he had assumed at their call.
"Fearful Symmetry" by Ann Wilson
She was very stern in her dealings with herself, though tender to the erring, and anxious to bear the burdens of the weak.
"Emily Brontë" by A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson
He still dragged his leaden burden.
"The Woman from Outside" by Hulbert Footner
She toiled on in front of him now, her figure braced to its burden.
"A Beautiful Alien" by Julia Magruder
A small strong-built Dutch vessel with two masts, used in the herring and mackerel fisheries, being generally of 50 to 70 tons burden.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
When should I have first learnt to feel that I was a burden to any one?
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
There were plodding lines of people, disciplined, carrying burdens, no bigger than ants at this distance.
"Valley of the Croen" by Lee Tarbell
At the next moment there was the sound from without of burdened footsteps.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
Feeling the burden too great for him, his one resource was to cast his burden on the Lord.
"George Muller of Bristol" by Arthur T. Pierson

In poetry:

I shall go lighter,
But heavier too
For seeing the burden
That falls upon you.
"Mary's Burden" by Eleanor Farjeon
The weight of the world
is love.
Under the burden
of solitude,
under the burden
of dissatisfaction
"Song" by Allen Ginsberg
Is it sudden terror
Burdens my heart? My hand
Flies to my head. I listen…
And do not understand.
"The Approach" by Robert Nichols
Bury this treachery as deep
As mercy is enrooted.
My days ill-fruited
Shake till the shrivelled burden fall.
"O Hide Me In Thy Love" by John Freeman
"Ye change to weary burdens
The helps that should uplift;
Ye lose in form the spirit,
The Giver in the gift.
"The Vision Of Echard" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Eastward swing the silent clouds
Into the night.
Burdens of day they seem--in crowds
Hurled from earth's sight.
"Storm-Ebb" by Cale Young Rice

In news:

Officials say it is unfair to transfer tax burden to village property owners.
As Californians mull higher income and sales taxes, research shows states with heavy tax burdens, especially California, have seen more residents leave for lower-tax locales.
He said remote hearings can lead to quicker hearings for defendants and ease the travel burden on witnesses and county sheriffs.
Why would anyone actually seek out and want the crushing responsibilities, burdens and non-stop complexities of the job of President of the United States .
The routine of self-management—the routine necessitated by the multiple daily diabetes tasks—has the potential to become a mind-numbing burden that triggers some new dread in me each time I perform an aspect of it.
It's rare for a rifle to be shot at an art event, Chris Burden notwithstanding.
Population-based screening and early treatment for type 2 diabetes could reduce this growing burden.
The Senate Agriculture Committee has passed H.R 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, with a strong bipartisan vote.
Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 - were, at times, a heavy burden.
Among physicians who are reluctant to participate in UPMC's PHR system, Martich says the most common reason was that they feared the direct connection to the patient would be a time burden.
The new compliance burdens contained in the CFPB's rule on remittances will result in fewer and costlier options for international transfer services.
You could easily outlive your savings if you don't consider your tax burden in retirement.
Archbishop Williams has carried the burdens of conflict, and has shown a huge and sometimes costly commitment to unity.
The proposal is part of the Obama administration's strategy to reduce regulatory burdens on doctors and hospitals.
When the skies opened and dumped $185 million on an obscure Chicago poetry journal in 2002, it was as much a burden as a gift.

In science:

This implies Lemma 15, as the finite play v for every v ∈ Wi is an F1−i ↾ V -burden.
Playing Muller Games in a Hurry
Our approach does not seem to be suitable for this, as the notion of a burden is not sufficient for this goal.
Playing Muller Games in a Hurry
However, charging an access fee requires a secure and reliable method to process payments, which creates burden on both sides of users and service providers.
Designing Incentive Schemes Based on Intervention: The Case of Imperfect Monitoring
Repeated interaction can encourage cooperative behavior by adjusting future payoffs depending on current behavior. A repeated game strategy can form a basis of an incentive scheme in which monitoring and punishment burden is decentralized to users (see, for example, ).
Designing Incentive Schemes Based on Intervention: The Case of Imperfect Monitoring
It avoids the burden of carrying around several i0’s in the above derivations.
Review of AdS/CFT Integrability, Chapter III.3: The dressing factor