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burden

bur·den / ˈbərdn/ • n. 1. a load, esp. a heavy one. ∎ fig. a duty or misfortune that causes hardship, anxiety, or grief: the burden of mental illness. ∎  the main responsibility for achieving a specified aim or task: the burden of establishing that the cost was unreasonable. ∎  a ship's carrying capacity; tonnage. 2. (the burden) the main theme or gist of a speech, book, or argument: the burden of his views. • v. [tr.] (usu. be burdened) load heavily: she walked forward burdened with a wooden box. ∎ fig. cause (someone) hardship or distress: they were not yet burdened with adult responsibility. PHRASES: burden of proof the obligation to prove one's assertion.DERIVATIVES: bur·den·some / ˈ-səm/ adj.

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Burden

Burden

a fixed quantity of a commodity; a heavy load; the chorus of a song. See also charge, load, trust.

Examples: burden of armour, 1595; of brass [debts], 1601; of corn, 1523; of despair, 1812; of gold, 1440; of rushes, 1560; of sin, 1303; of sorrows, 1374; of steel [120 lb.]; of thorns, 1449; of verse, 1598; of weeds, 1527.

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burden

burden1, (arch.) burthen load. OE. byrðen = OS. burthinna :- WGmc. *burþinjō, f. *burpi (see BIRTH) + -EN2; cf., with different suffix, OHG. burdi (G. bürde), Goth. baurpei. Forms with d appear XII. cf. MURDER; for u repr. OE. y cf. BLUSH.
Hence burden vb., †burdenous, burdensome. XVI.

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burden

burden2 †bass, ‘undersong’; refrain XVI; chief theme XVII. Later form of BOURDON, assim. to prec. as if with the notion that the bass or the refrain was ‘carried’ by the melody or the song.

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burden

burden burden of proof the obligation to prove one's assertion; the term (translating Latin onus probandi in Roman law) is recorded from the late 16th century.

See also God makes the back to the burden, white of Chancery.

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burden

burden, or burthen.
1. A recurring line after each stanza of a ballad, etc.

2. Drone or bass of bagpipe.

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burden

burdenAbaddon, gladden, gladdon, Ibadan, madden, sadden •abandon, Brandon, Rwandan, Ugandan •Baden, Baden-Baden, Coloradan, garden, harden, lardon, Nevadan, pardon •Wiesbaden • bear garden •tea garden •Armageddon, deaden, leaden, redden •Eldon, Sheldon •Brendan, tendon •Dresden •Aden, Aidan, Haydn, laden, maiden •handmaiden •cedarn, cotyledon, dicotyledon, Eden, monocotyledon, Sweden •wealden •bestridden, forbidden, hidden, midden, outridden, ridden, stridden, unbidden •Wimbledon •linden, Lindon, Swindon •Wisden • Mohammedan • Myrmidon •harridan • hagridden • Sheridan •bedridden • Macedon • Huntingdon •Dryden, guidon, Leiden, Poseidon, Sidon, widen •Culloden, hodden, modern, sodden, trodden •Cobden • downtrodden •Auden, broaden, cordon, Gordon, Hordern, Jordan, warden •churchwarden • louden • bounden •loden, Snowdon •beholden, embolden, golden, olden •hoyden • Bermudan • wooden •Mukden • gulden • sudden •Blunden, London •Riordan • bourdon • bombardon •celadon • Clarendon •burden, guerdon

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