Bur"den (?), n. [Written also burthen.] [OE. burden, burthen, birthen, birden, AS. byr&edh;en; akin to Icel. byr&edh;i, Dan. byrde, Sw. borda, G. burde, OHG. burdi, Goth. ba�xa3;rei, fr. the root of E. bear, AS. beran, Goth. bairan. 92. See 1st Bear.]


That which is borne or carried; a load.

Plants with goodly burden bowing. Shak.


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. Swift.


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

4. Mining

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

5. Metal.

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



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


A birth.

[Obs. & R.]


Beast of burden, an animal employed in carrying burdens. -- Burden of proof [L. onus probandi] Law, the duty of proving a particular position in a court of law, a failure in the performance of which duty calls for judgment against the party on whom the duty is imposed.

Syn. -- Burden, Load. A burden is, in the literal sense, a weight to be borne; a load is something laid upon us to be carried. Hence, when used figuratively, there is usually a difference between the two words. Our burdens may be of such a nature that we feel bound to bear them cheerfully or without complaint. They may arise from the nature of our situation; they may be allotments of Providence; they may be the consequences of our errors. What is upon us, as a load, we commonly carry with greater reluctance or sense of oppression. Men often find the charge of their own families to be a burden; but if to this be added a load of care for others, the pressure is usually serve and irksome.


© Webster 1913.

Bur"den, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Burdened (#); p. pr. & vb. n. Burdening (#).]


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. 2 Cor. viii. 13.


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

My burdened heart would break. Shak.


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. Coleridge.

Syn. -- To load; encumber; overload; oppress.


© Webster 1913.

Bur"den (?), n. [OE. burdoun the bass in music, F. bourdon; cf. LL. burdo drone, a long organ pipe, a staff, a mule. Prob. of imitative origin. Cf. Bourdon.]


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. Shak.


The drone of a bagpipe.



© Webster 1913.

Bur"den, n. [See Burdon.]

A club.




© Webster 1913.

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