Getting hired as the assistant to a pastry chef seemed like a dream come true. But one week and 100 cupcakes later, it’s become a hard-to-bear burden accompanied by a permanent stomachache.

Burden is one of those words that doubles as a noun and a verb. Defined as something you carry or withstand with much difficulty when used as a noun, and as the act of weighing down, overloading, or oppressing when used as a verb, it’s a word with a negative charge. Now that you know what it means, you’re equipped to make sure you don’t take on unnecessary burdens (getting pressured into always carrying your neighbor’s groceries upstairs), or become one yourself!

Definitions of burden
  1. noun
    weight to be borne or conveyed
    synonyms: load, loading
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    a variant of `burden'
    dead load
    a constant load on a structure (e.g. a bridge) due to the weight of the supported structure itself
    live load, superload
    a variable load on a structure (e.g. a bridge) such as moving traffic
    any load that is difficult to carry
    overburden, overload
    an excessive burden
    an electrical load that exceeds the available electrical power
    type of:
    an artifact that is heavy
  2. noun
    an onerous or difficult concern
    “the burden of responsibility”
    synonyms: encumbrance, incumbrance, load, onus
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    dead weight
    an oppressive encumbrance
    a burden (figuratively in the form of a bundle)
    an uncalled-for burden
    something unpleasant or offensive that must be tolerated or endured
    type of:
    concern, headache, vexation, worry
    something or someone that causes anxiety; a source of unhappiness
  3. verb
    weight down with a load
    synonyms: burthen, weight, weight down
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    disburden, unburden
    take the burden off; remove the burden from
    load with excessive weight
    weight with lead
    load or burden; encumber
    type of:
    fill or load to capacity
  4. verb
    impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to
    synonyms: charge, saddle
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    burden with too much work or responsibility
    bear down
    exert a force or cause a strain upon
    deluge, flood out, overwhelm
    charge someone with too many tasks
    command solemnly
    type of:
    command, require
    make someone do something
  5. noun
    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    synonyms: core, effect, essence, gist
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    type of:
    import, meaning, significance, signification
    the message that is intended or expressed or signified
  6. noun
    the central idea that is expanded in a document or discourse
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    type of:
    idea, thought
    the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about
Word Family
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